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Among the persons that have contributed to the pages of 
this portion of the Series of Dr. Adam Clarke's Miscellaneous 
Works, the Rev. William Beal may be named with respect, 
whose volume, entitled, " The Fathers of the Wesley Fa- 
mily," is noticed pp. 41, 62, of Vol. I., but who is here 
otherwise acknowledged for important aid. It may be far- 
ther remarked, as anxious solicitude is experienced to pre- 
sent the whole Series as correct as possible to the public, 
that Dr. Clarke commenced preparations for a second edition 
of this work as far back as the latter end of 1823. This 
having been the case, a change of circumstances has ren- 
dered, in two or three instances, a change of dates necessarj 7 . 
The reader, therefore, will have to substitute 1824 for 1835, 
in a foot note, Vol. I., p. 37 ; for that which was strictly 
correct at the former period, had become less so at the latter, 
— the party relieved having died in the interim, and a 
change of circumstances having been experienced by some 
of the living. The same remark will apply to Mr. Cropp, 
noticed Vol. I., p. 7l> who, since the period the entry was 
made, has removed from Vincent Square to the neighbour- 
hood of Monmouth. 

It has been suggested too, by one who is well acquainted 
with the geography of the neighbourhood, that John Wesley 
can scarcely be supposed to have taken up his residence at 
Preston, as stated, Vol. I., p. 67, with a view to avoid the 
Five Mile Act. The reason assigned is, that Weymouth, 
which is only about three miles from Preston, is a " corpora- 
tion town." It is therefore urged, and with some plausi- 
bility, that Preston was the only refuge for the family, while 
Mr. Wesley, its head, lay generally concealed in some 



place between Preston and Poole, being more than five 
miles distant from any corporation town, when he appeared 
in public, occasionally visiting the home of his partner and 
of his children by stealth. 

A doubt has been expressed, whether Whitchurch was 
actually the place of Samuel Wesley's birth, noticed Vol. I., 
p. 88. Dr. Clarke himself does not speak with perfect con- 
fidence as to the fact ; nor, indeed, could he, as the family 
are said to have removed to Preston, Vol. I., p. 63, in May, 
1663, as a kind of permanent residence, during the father's 
life. Admitting him, according to the general opinion en- 
tertained on the subject, to have been born at Whitchurch, 
it must have been during some visit or temporary residence 
of the family at the place. Preston has been assigned as 
the probable place of his birth ; and the arguments in favour 
of that opinion are to be found in the " Fathers of the Wes- 
ley Family," p. 116. 

The seizure and imprisonment of John Wesley, of Whit- 
church, is adverted to, Vol. I., p. 56. Attention, however, 
has been directed to another seizure in 1662 ; the year suc- 
ceeding, mentioned in the second edition of Dr. Calamy's 
Work. Thus was this good man hunted from place to 
place, like a partridge upon the mountains. Praise God for 
better days ! for the House of Brunswick ! 

The entry at " Exeter College," Vol. I., p. 72, must be 
made to conform with the year 1684, pp. 4, 99. 








Miss Susanna Annesley, afterwards Susanna Wes- 
ley, was the youngest daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley, 
already mentioned. She was born on the 20th of Janu- 
ary, in the year 1669 or 1670. She was endowed with 
a fine natural understanding, which was advanced to a 
very high pitch of perfection by an education at once 
religious and literary. A mind such as hers, nurtured 
under the roof and parental cares of Dr. Annesley, had 
the highest advantages, and must have greatly profited 
by them. Though her father was a conscientious Non- 
conformist, he had too much dignity of mind, leaving 
his religion out of the question, to be a bigot. Under 
the parental roof, and before she was thirteen years of 
age, she examined without restraint the whole contro- 
versy between the established church and the dissenters. 
The issue of which was, she renounced her religious 
fellowship with the latter, and adopted the creed and 
forms of the Church of England; to which she faith- 
fully and zealously adhered as long as she lived- It 
does not appear that her father threw any obstacles in 
her way, or that he afterwards disapproved of her mar- 
rying a rigid orthodox churchman ; who, from a similar 
process, became a convert from the peculiar tenets of his 



nonconformist ancestors, to the ecclesiastical establish- 
ment of the kingdom. Nor have I learnt, after the most 
extensive search and the closest inquiry, that the slightest 
difference ever existed between him, his son-in-law, and 
daughter, upon the subject. " I do not find," says Miss 
Wesley, in a letter before me, "that Dr. Annesley or 
any of his family were prejudiced against my grand- 
father for leaving the dissenters ; but his mind was too 
enlarged to be prejudiced, whatever preference he had 
to his own community/' Susanna was a kind friend 
to her brother-in-law, John Dunton, as appears from his 
poem, entitled, "The Character of a Summer-friend," 
when he says, 

" Whilst I was rich, I was the best of men ; 
'Twas then proclaimed (so high my praises ran), 
' Oh! what a blessing is our brother John !' 
But when my fortune did begin to wane, 
But two of all my crowd of friends remain." 

A note informs us that these were " sister Wesley, and 
sister Sudbury," p. 483. 

It was about the year 1689 that she became the wife 
of Mr. Samuel Wesley, when she was in the nineteenth 
or twentieth year of her age. As Mr. Wesley was born 
in 1662, he was then in his twenty-eighth year, and 
she seven or eight years younger than he. It is some- 
thing remarkable, that she survived him about the same 
number of years ; so that their pilgrimage through life 
was nearly of the same duration. Her youth, and having 
children in quick succession, and at different times two 
at a birth, will account for the numerous family with 
which they were blest. 

As their circumstances were narrow and confined — a 
subject already repeatedly referred to — the education of 


their progeny fell particularly upon themselves; and 
especially on Mrs. Wesley, who seems to have possessed 
every qualification requisite for either a public or private 
teacher. Her manner was peculiar to herself, and de- 
serves a distinct mention. She has detailed it in a letter 
to her son John (July 24, 1732), where, speaking of the 
children, she says, " None of them were taught to read 
till five years old, except Kezzy, in whose case I was 
overruled, and she was more years in learning than any 
of the rest had been months. The way of teaching was 
this : the day before a child began to learn, the house 
was set in order, every one's work appointed them, and 
a charge given that none should come into the room 
from nine to twelve, or from two till five, which were 
our school-hours. 

" One day was allowed the child wherein to learn its 
letters ; and each of them did in that time know all its 
letters, great and small, except Molly and Nancy, who 
were a day and a half before they knew them perfectly, 
for which I then thought them very dull : but the reason 
why I thought so was, because the rest learned them so 
readily; and your brother Samuel, who was the first 
child I ever taught, learnt the alphabet in a few hours. 
He was five years old on the tenth of February; the 
next day he began to learn ; and as soon as he knew the 
letters, began at the first chapter of Genesis. He was 
taught to spell the first verse, then to read it over and 
over, till he could read it off-hand without any hesita- 
tion; and so on to the second, &c, till he took ten 
verses for a lesson, which he quickly did. Easter fell 
low that year, and by Whitsuntide he could read a 
chapter very well ; for he read continually, and had such 
a prodigious memory, that I cannot remember ever to 
have told him the same word twice. What was yet 



stranger, any word he had learnt in his lesson, he knew 
whenever he saw it, either in his Bible or any other 
book ; by which means he learnt very soon to read an 
English author well. 

"The same method was observed by them all. As 
soon as they knew the letters, they were first put to 
spell, and read one line, and then a verse ; never leaving 
till perfect in their lesson, were it shorter or longer. So 
one or other continued reading at school-time without 
any intermission ; and before we left school, each child 
read what he had learnt that morning; and ere we 
parted in the afternoon, what they had learnt that day." 

I consider the above as positive facts, and have no 
doubt concerning any of them ; and take it for granted 
that almost any children may be taught in the same way, 
and with similar success. But should it be copied, and 
generally recommended ? I think not. A child should 
be taught what is necessary for it to know, as soon as 
that necessity exists, and the child is capable of learning. 
Among children there is a great disparity of intellect, 
and in the power of apprehension and comprehension. 
Many children have such a precocity of intellect, as to 
be more capable of learning to read at two, than others 
are at five years of age ; and it would be high injustice 
indeed to prevent them acquiring much useful know- 
ledge, and some hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas, by 
waiting for a prescribed term of five years. When a 
child is capable of learning anything, give that teaching : 
but let the teaching be regularly graduated ; let it go on 
from step to step, never obliging it to learn what it can- 
not yet comprehend. We begin very properly with let- 
ters, or the elementary signs of language; teach the 
child to distinguish them from each other, and give them 


in their names some notion of their power. We then 
teach them to combine them into simple syllables ; syl- 
lables into words ; words into sentences ; sentences 
into speeches, or regular discourse. This process is as 
philosophic as it is natural : but who follows it through 
the successive steps of education ? Scarcely any. Be- 
cause a child can understand a little, and shows aptness 
in learning, parental fondness, or the teacher s ignorance, 
comes into powerful operation ; and the child is pushed 
unnaturally forward to departments of learning to which 
it has not been gradually inducted. The mind is puz- 
zled and bewildered ; a great gulf is left behind which 
cuts off all connexion with what has been already learnt, 
and what is now proposed to the understanding ; and 
the issue is, the child is confounded and discouraged, 
and falls either under the power of hebetude, or learns 
superficially, and never becomes a correct scholar. A 
child must understand what it is doing, before it can do 
what it ought. 

Few are taught to spell their mother tongue correctly. 
They are hurried on from reading to reading and prating, 
and never learn to spell a sentence with propriety. Thus 
mothers, in general, teach their children their mother's 

I have before me original letters of lords and ladies 
who were correspondents of the Wesley family, where 
the writing is elegant, and the spelling execrable. The 
learned languages cannot be acquired in this way ; and 
hence they are more correctly learnt in England than 
English itself. Dr. Edmund Castel (author of the Hep- 
taglott Lexicon, that usually goes with Walton's Poly- 
glott Bible) was, in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Samaritan, 
Chaldee, Syriac, iEthiopic, Arabic, and Persian, the 
most learned man of his day in Great Britain ; yet this 


6 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

same eminent scholar could not write one sentence in 
English correct in its orthography. 

Mrs. Wesley says nothing of teaching the children to 
spell : but her plan in this must hare been excellent, as 
all the family wrote, in this respect, with the greatest 

"But why did Mrs. Wesley postpone the teaching 
her children their letters till they were five years of age ? 
If this were not the best plan, so very sensible a woman 
would never have adopted it." There is perhaps a little 
mystery here, that may easily be explained. Samuel was 
the eldest of Mrs. W.'s children: he was the first on 
which she tried this method of instruction. " But why 
did she not begin with him sooner?" For this plain 
reason; he could not speak. Mr. Wesley himself told 
me the following anecdote. 

" My brother Samuel did not attempt to speak till 
he was between four and five years old; nor did the 
family know whether he would ever be able to speak. 
To their surprise he began at once. There was a cat in 
the house which was a great favourite with him; he 
would frequently carry it about, and retire with it into 
private places. One day he disappeared; the family 
sought up and down for him to no purpose ; my mother 
got alarmed for his safety, and went through the house 
loudly calling him by his name. At last she heard a 
voice from under a table, saying, ' Here am I, mother !' 
Looking down, she to her surprise saw Sammy and his 
cat. From this time he spoke regularly, and without 
any kind of hesitation." 

Had this story come to me by tradition, I should have 
found it difficult of credit. 

It was probably this circumstance that induced Mrs. 
Wesley to adopt the five years' plan. With Sam she 


could not begin sooner. Mary and Anne she found it 
difficult to forward in the same way. Kezzy she was 
persuaded to try before the time, and was unsuccessful. 
She appears, therefore, to have fixed the term of five 
years, partly from necessity, and partly from experience. 
I have no doubt she might have begun much sooner 
with most of them, with equal advantage to herself, and 
much more to them. I do not hesitate therefore to 
transcribe my own maxim : — ' A child should be taught 
what is necessary for it to know as soon as that neces- 
sity exists, and the child is capable of learning. 

Such was Mrs. Wesley's method of teaching her chil- 
dren to read ; and she was equally assiduous in teaching, 
them their duty to God, and to their parents. She had 
nineteen children, most of whom lived to be educated ; 
and ten came to man and woman's estate. Her son 
John mentions " the calm serenity with which his mother 
transacted business, wrote letters, and conversed, sur- 
rounded by her thirteen children." All these were edu- 
cated by herself. And as she was a woman that lived 
by rule, she methodized and arranged everything so ex- 
actly, that to each operation she had a time, and time 
sufficient to transact all the business of the family. It 
appears also, from several of the private papers, that she 
had no small share in managing the secular concerns of 
the rectory. The tithes and glebe were much under 
her inspection. As to the children, their times of going 
to rest, rising in the morning, dressing, eating, learning, 
and exercise, she managed by rule ; which was never 
suffered to be broken, unless in case of sickness. From 
her, Mr. John "Wesley derived all that knowledge in the 
education of children, which he has detailed so amply 
and so successfully enforced. It has been wondered at, 
that a man who had no children of his own could have 

8 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

known so well how they should be managed and edu- 
cated ; but that wonder will at once cease, when it is 
recollected by whom he was himself educated, and who 
was his instructress in all things, during his infancy and 

Mrs. "Wesley taught her children from their earliest 
age their duty to their parents. She had little difficulty 
in breaking their wills, or reducing them to absolute sub- 
jection. They were early brought, by rational means, 
under a mild yoke ; they were perfectly obsequious to 
their parents, and were taught to wait their decision in 
everything they were to have, and in everything they 
were to perform. 

They were taught also to ask a blessing upon their 
food, to behave quietly at family prayers, and to re- 
verence the sabbath. They were never permitted to 
command the servants, or to use any words of authority 
in their addresses to them. Mrs. Wesley charged the 
servants to do nothing for any of the children unless 
/they asked it with humility and respect ; and the chil- 
dren were duly informed that the servants had such 
orders. This is the foundation, and indeed the essence, 
of good breeding. Insolent, impudent, and disagreeable 
children are to be met with everywhere, because this 
simple but important mode of bringing up is neglected. 
" Molly, Robert, be pleased to do so and so," was the 
usual method of request both from the sons and the 
daughters; and, because the children behaved thus de- 
cently, the domestics reverenced and loved them ; were 
strictly attentive to, and felt it a privilege to serve them. 

They were never permitted to contend with each 
other ; whatever differences arose, the parents were the 
umpires, and their decision was never disputed. The 
consequence was, there were few misunderstandings 


among them, and no unbrotherly or vindictive passions ; 
and they had the common fame of being the most loving 
family in the county of Lincoln ! How much evil may 
be prevented, and how much good may be done, by 
judicious management in the education of children ! 

But Mrs. Wesley's whole method, in bringing up and 
managing her family, is so amply detailed in the letter 
from which I have made the extract relative to the mode 
of teaching them to read, that it would be as great an 
injustice to her to omit it, as it will be profitable to 
every reader to see it. 

"Epwortk, July 24, 1732. 
" Dear son, 

" According to your desire, I have collected the prin- 
cipal rules I observed in educating my family. 

" The children were always put into a regular method 
of living, in such things as they were capable of, from 
their birth ; as in dressing and undressing, changing 
their linen, &c. The first quarter commonly passes in ^ 
sleep. After that, they were, if possible, laid into their 
cradle awake, and rocked to sleep; and so they were 
kept rocking till it was time for them to awake. This 
was done to bring them to a regular course of sleeping, 
which at first was three hours in the morning, and three 
in the afternoon ; afterwards two hours, till they needed 
none at all. When turned a year old (and some before), 
they were taught to fear the rod, and to cry softly, by 
which means they escaped abundance of correction which 
they might otherwise have had ; and that most odious 
noise of the crying of children was rarely heard in the 
house, but the family usually lived in as much quiet- 
ness as if there had not been a child among them. 
"As soon as they were grown pretty strong, they 

10 op mr. wesley's ancestors. 

were confined to three meals a-day. At dinner their 
little table and chairs were set by ours, where they could 
be overlooked ; and they were suffered to eat and drink 
(small beer) as much as they would, but not to call for 
anything. If they wanted aught, they used to whisper 
to the maid that attended them, who came and spake 
to me ; and as soon as they could handle a knife 
and fork, they were set to our table. They were never 
suffered to choose their meat, but always made to eat 
such things as were provided for the family. Mornings, 
they always had spoonmeat ; sometimes at nights. But 
whatever they had, they were never permitted at those 
meals to eat of more than one thing, and of that spar- 
ingly enough. Drinking or eating between meals was 
never allowed unless in case of sickness, which seldom 
happened. Nor were they suffered to go into the kitchen 
to ask anything of the servants, when they were at meat: 
if it was known they did so, they were certainly beat, 
and the servants severely reprimanded. 

" At six, as soon as family prayer was over, they had 
their supper; at seven, the maid washed them, and, 
beginning at the youngest, she undressed and got them 
all to bed by eight ; at which time she left them in their 
several rooms awake, for there was no such thing allowed 
of, in our house, as sitting by a child till it fell asleep. 

" They were so constantly used to eat and drink what 
was given them, that when any of them was ill, there 
was no difficulty in making them take the most un- 
pleasant medicine, for they durst not refuse it, though 
some of them would presently throw it up. This I 
mention to show that a person may be taught to take 
anything, though it be never so much against his 

" In order to form the minds of children, the first 


thing to be done is to conquer their will, and bring them 
to an obedient temper. To inform the understanding is 
a work of time ; and must with children proceed by slow 
degrees, as they are able to bear it ; but the subjecting 
the will is a thing which must be done at once, and the 
sooner the better; for by neglecting timely correction, 
they will contract a stubbornness and obstinacy which 
are hardly ever after conquered, and neyer without using 
such severity as would be as painful to me as to the child. 
In the esteem of the world they pass for kind and in- 
dulgent, whom I call cruel parents ; who permit their 
children to get habits which they know must be after- 
wards broken. Nay, some are so stupidly fond, as in 
sport to teach their children to do things which in a 
while after they have severely beaten them for doing. 
When a child is corrected it must be conquered, and 
this will be no hard matter to do, if it be not grown 
headstrong by too much indulgence. And when the 
will of a child is totally subdued, and it is brought to 
revere and stand in awe of the parents, then a great 
many childish follies and inadvertences may be passed 
by. Some should be overlooked and taken no notice of, 
and others mildly reproved ; but no wilful transgression 
ought ever to be forgiven children, without chastisement, 
less or more, as the nature and circumstances of the 
offence may require. I insist upon conquering the will 
of children betimes, because this is the only strong and 
rational foundation of a religious education, without 
which both precept and example will be ineffectual. 
But when this is thoroughly done, then a child is 
capable of being governed by the reason and piety of 
its parents, till its own understanding comes to matu- 
rity, and the principles of religion have taken root in 
the mind. 

12 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

"I canifot yet dismiss this subject. As self-will is 
the root of all sin and misery, so whatever cherishes this 
in children insures their after wretchedness and irre- 
ligion ; whatever checks and mortifies it promotes their 
future happiness and piety. This is still more evident if 
we farther consider that religion is nothing else than the 
doing the will of God, and not our own ; that the one 
grand impediment to our temporal and eternal happiness 
heing this self-will, no indulgence of it can be trivial, 
no denial unprofitable. Heaven or hell depends on 
this alone. So that the parent who studies to subdue it 
in his child, works together with God in the renewing 
and saving a soul. The parent who indulges it does the 
devil's work ; makes religion impracticable, salvation un- 
attainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, 
soul and body, for ever. 

"Our children were taught, as soon as they could 
speak, the Lord's prayer, which they were made to say at 
rising and bed-time constantly ; to which, as they grew 
bigger, were added a short prayer for their parents, and 
some collects, a short catechism, and some portion of 
Scripture, as their memories could bear. They were 
very early made to distinguish the Sabbath from other 
days, before they could well speak or go. They were as 
soon taught to be still at family prayers, and to ask a 
blessing immediately after, which they used to do by 
signs, before they could kneel or speak. 

" They were quickly made to understand they might 
have nothing they cried for, and instructed to speak 
handsomely for what they wanted. They were not suf- 
fered to ask even the lowest servant for aught, without 
saying, Pray give me such a thing ; and the servant was 
chid if she ever let them omit that word. 

" Taking God's name in vain, cursing and swearing, 


profaneness, obscenity, rude ill-bred names, were never 
heard among them ; nor were they ever permitted to call 
each other by their proper names without the addition of 
brother or sister. 

" There was no such thing as loud talking or playing 
allowed of; but every one was kept close to business for 
the six hours of school. And it is almost incredible 
what a child may be taught in a quarter of a year by a 
vigorous application, if it have but a tolerable capacity 
and good health. Kezzy excepted, all could read better 
in that time than the most of women can do as long as 
they live. Rising out of their places, or going out of the 
room, was not permitted, except for good cause; and 
running into the yard, garden, or street, without leave, 
was always esteemed a capital offence. 

" For some years we went on very well. Never were 
children in better order. Never were children better 
disposed to piety, or in more subjection to their parents, 
till that fatal dispersion of them after the fire, into 
several families. In those they were left at full liberty 
to converse with servants, which before they had always 
been restrained from ; and to run abroad to play with 
any children, good or bad. They soon learned to neglect 
a strict observance of the Sabbath ; and got knowledge 
of several songs and bad things, which before they had 
no notion of. That civil behaviour, which made them 
admired when they were at home, by all who saw them, 
was in a great measure lost ; and a clownish accent and 
many rude ways were learnt, which were not reformed 
without some difficulty. 

" When the house was rebuilt, and the children all 
brought home, we entered on a strict reform ; and then 
was begun the custom of singing psalms at beginning 
and leaving school morning and evening. Then also 

14 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

that of a general retirement at five o'clock was entered 
upon. When the oldest took the youngest that could 
speak, and the second the next, to whom they read the 
psalms for the day, and a chapter in the New Testament : 
as in the morning they were directed to read the psalms, 
and a chapter in the Old ; after which they went to their 
private prayers, before they got their breakfast, or came 
into the family. 

" There were several bye-laws observed among us. I 
mention them here because I think them useful. 

" 1. It had been observed that cowardice and fear of 
punishment often lead children into lying ; till they get 
a custom of it which they cannot leave. To prevent 
this, a law was made that whoever was charged with a 
fault, of which they were guilty, if they would ingenu- 
ously confess it, and promise to amend, should not be 
beaten. This rule prevented a great deal of lying ; and 
would have done more, if one in the family would have 
observed it. But he could not be prevailed on, and 
therefore was often imposed upon by false colours and 
equivocations, which none would have used but one, had 
they been kindly dealt with ; and some in spite of all 
would always speak truth plainly. 

" 2. That no sinful action, as lying, pilfering at church 
or on the Lord's-day, disobedience, quarrelling, &c, 
should ever pass unpunished. 

" 3. That no child should be ever chid or beat twice 
for the same fault ; and that, if they amended, they 
should never be upbraided with it afterwards. 

" 4. That every signal act of obedience, especially 
when it crossed upon their own inclinations, should be 
always commended, and frequently rewarded, according 
to the merits of the case. 

" 5. That if ever any child performed an act of obe- 


dience, or did anything with an intention to please, 
though the performance was not well, yet the obedience 
and intention should be kindly accepted, and the child 
with sweetness directed how to do better for the future. 

" 6. That propriety be inviolably preserved ; and none 
suffered to invade the property of another in the smallest 
matter, though it were but of the value of a farthing, or 
a pin ; which they might not take from the owner with- 
out, much less against, his consent. This rule can never 
be too much inculcated on the minds of children ; and 
from the want of parents or governors doing it as they 
ought, proceeds that shameful neglect of justice which 
we may observe in the world. 

" 7- That promises be strictly observed ; and a gift 
once bestowed, and so the right passed away from the 
donor, be not resumed, but left to the disposal of him to 
whom it was given ; unless it were conditional, and the 
condition of the obligation not performed. 

" 8. That no girl be taught to work till she can read 
very well ; and then that she be kept to her work with 
the same application, and for the same time, that she 
was held to in reading. This rule also is much to be 
observed ; for the putting children to learn sewing before 
they can read perfectly is the very reason why so few 
women can read fit to be heard, and never to be well 

After such management, who need wonder at the rare 
excellence of the Wesley family ! 

Mrs. Wesley never considered herself discharged from 
the care of her children. Into all situations she followed 
them with her prayers and counsels ; and her sons, even 
when at the university, found the utility of her wise and 
parental instructions. They proposed to her all their 

16 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

doubts, and consulted her in all difficulties. The fol- 
lowing letter to her son John, in answer to queries 
proposed concerning some authors, and their opinions, 
will show how able she was to instruct, and what her 
opinion was relative to the doctrine of predestination 

" Wroot, Jan. 8, 1725.* 
" Dear Son, 
" I cannot recollect the passages you mention : but 
believing you do the author, I positively aver that he 
is extremely in the wrong in that impious, not to say 
blasphemous, assertion, that God by an irresistible decree 
hath determined any man to be miserable, even in this 
life. His intentions, as himself, are holy, and just, and 
good ; and all the miseries incident to men here or 
hereafter spring from themselves. The case stands 
thus : — This life is a state of probation, wherein eternal 
happiness or misery are proposed to our choice ; the one 
as the reward of a virtuous, the other as a consequence 
of a vicious, life. Man is a compound being, a strange 
mixture of spirit and matter; or, rather, a creature 
wherein those opposite principles are united without 
mixture, yet each principle, after an incomprehensible 
manner, subject to the influence of the other. The true 
happiness of man, under this consideration, consists in 
a due subordination of the inferior to the superior powers ; 
of the animal to the rational nature ; and of both to 

* This letter, as given by the Rev. J. Wesley, in the Anninian 
Mag., vol. i., p. 33, is dated " June 8th," and as no notice is taken 
of it in the errata at the close of the volume, the probability is in 
favour of that date.— Editor. 


" This was his original righteousness and happiness 
that was lost in Adam ; and to restore man to this hap- 
piness hy the recovery of his original righteousness, was 
certainly God's design in admitting him to the state of 
trial on the world, and of our redemption hy Jesus Christ. 
And surely this was a design truly worthy of God, and 
the greatest instance of mercy that even omnipotent 
goodness could exhibit to us. 

" As the happiness of man consists in a due subordi- 
nation of the inferior to the superior powers, &c, so the 
inversion of this order is the true source of human 
misery. There is in us all a natural propension towards 
the body and the world. The beauty, pleasures, and 
ease of the body strangely charm us ; the wealth and 
honours of the world allure us ; and all, under the 
manage of a subtle malicious adversary, give a prodigious 
force to present things : and if the animal life once get 
the ascendant of our reason, it utterly deprives us of our 
moral liberty, and by consequence makes us wretched. 
Therefore, for any man to endeavour after happiness in 
gratifying all his bodily appetites in opposition to his 
reason, is the greatest folly imaginable ; because he seeks 
it where God has not designed he shall ever find it. 
But this is the case of the generality of men ; they live 
as mere animals, wholly given up to the interests and 
pleasures of the body ; and all the use of their under- 
standing is to make provision for the flesh to fulfil the 
lusts thereof, without the least regard to future happiness 
or misery. 

"It is true our eternal state lies under a vast dis- 
advantage to us in this life, in that, that it is future and 
invisible ; and it requires great attention and application 
of mind, frequent retirement, and intense thinking, to 
excite our affections, and beget such an habitual sense 

18 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

of it as "s requisite to enable us to walk steadily in 
the paths of virtue, in opposition to our corrupt nature, 
and all the vicious customs and maxims of the world. 
Qur blessed Lord.^ who came from heaven to save us 
from our sins, as well as the punishment of them, as 
knowing that it was impossible for us to be happy in 
either world, unless we were holy, did not intend, bv 
commanding us to take up the cross, that we should bid 
adieu to all joy and satisfaction indefinitely ; but he. 
Opens and extends our views beyond time to eternity. 
He directs us where to place our joys ; how to seek 
satisfaction durable as our being ; which is not to be 
found in gratifying, but in retrenching, our sensual appe- 
tites ; not in obeying the dictates of our irregular pas- 
sions, but in correcting their exorbitancy, bringing every 
appetite of the body and power of the soul under sub- 
jection to his laws, if we would follow him to heaven. 
And because he knew we could not do this without 
great contradiction to our corrupt animality, therefore he 
enjoins us to take up this cross, and to fight under his 
banner against the flesh, the world, and the devil. And 
when, by the grace of God's Holy Spirit, we are so far 
conquerors, as that we never willingly offend, but still 
press after greater degrees of Christian perfection, sin- 
cerely endeavouring to plant each virtue in our minds, 
that may through Christ render us pleasing to God ; we 
shall then experience the truth of Solomon's assertion, 
' The ways of virtue are ways of pleasantness, and all 
her paths are peace/ 

" I take Kempis to have been an honest weak man, 
who had more zeal than knowledge, by his condemning 
all mirth or pleasure as sinful or useless, in opposition to 
so many direct ancTplain texts of Scripture. Would you 
judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasure ; of 


the innocence or malignity of actions ? Take this rale : 
Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness 
of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes 
off the relish of spiritual things ; in short, whatever in- 
creases the strength and authority of your body over your 
mind ; that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may 
be in itself. And so on the contrary. 

" Tis stupid to say nothing is an affliction to a good 
man. That is an affliction that makes an affliction, either 
to good or bad. Nor do I understand how any man can 
thank God for present misery ; yet do I very well know 
what it is to rejoice in the midst of deep afflictions ; not 
in the affliction itself, for then it would necessarily cease 
to be one ; but in this we may rejoice, that we are in the 
hand of a God who never did, and never can, exert his 
power in any act of injustice, oppression, or cruelty ; in 
the power of that Superior Wisdom which disposes all 
events*, and has promised that all things shall work 
together for good (for the spiritual and eternal good) of 
those that love him. We may rejoice in hope that 
Almighty Goodness will not suffer us to be tempted 
above that we are able ; but will with the temptation 
make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it. 
In a word, we may and ought to rejoice that God has 
assured us he will never leave or forsake us ; but, if we 
continue faithful to him, he will take care to conduct us 
safely through all the changes and chances of this mortal 
life, to those blessed regions of joy and immortality 
where sin and sorrow can never enter." 

There are many excellent sentiments and observations 
in the preceding letter; and the whole proves a capa- 
cious and well-disciplined mind, that tried itself to the 
bottom, and saw how little it could depend on its own 

20 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

exertions without the especial help of the grace and 
Spirit of Christ. 

In the following month she wrote a more direct answer 
to the question concerning election and predestination ; 
and especially the seventeenth article of the church, 
on which her son appears to have been not a little 

To many these points will appear to be clearly stated, 
and satisfactorily discussed, in this letter. 

" Wroote, July 18, 1725. 

" 1 have often wondered that men should 

be so vain to amuse themselves by searching into the 
decrees of God, which no human wit can fathom ; and 
do not rather employ their time and powers in work- 
ing out their salvation, and making their own calling 
and election sure. Such studies tend more to con- 
found than inform the understanding ; and young people 
had best let them alone. But since I find you have 
some scruples concerning our article of predestination, 
I will tell you my thoughts of the matter ; and if they 
satisfy not, you may desire your father's direction, who 
is surely better qualified for a casuist than me. 

" The doctrine of predestination, as maintained by 
rigid Calvinists, is very shocking, and ought utterly 
to be abhorred, because it charges the most holy God 
with being the author of sin. And I think you reason 
very well and justly against it ; for it is certainly incon- 
sistent with the justice and goodness of God to lay any 
man under either a physical or moral necessity of com- 
mitting sin, and then punish him for doing it. Far be 
this from the Lord ! Shall not the Judge of all the earth 
do right ? 

" I do firmly believe that God from all eternity, hath 


elected some to everlasting life ; but then I humbly con- 
ceive that this election is founded in his foreknowledge, 
according to that in the eighth of Romans, ver. 29, 30 : 
" Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be 
conformed to the image of his Son : moreover, whom 
he did predestinate, them he also called ; and whom he 
called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, 
them he also glorified." 

" Whom, in his eternal prescience, God saw would 
make a right use of their powers, and accept of offered 
mercy, he did predestinate — adopt for his children, his 
peculiar treasure. And that they might be conformed, 
to the image of his only Son, he called them to himself by 
his eternal word, through the preaching of the gospel ; 
and internally, by his Holy Spirit: which call they 
obeying, repenting of their sins, and believing in the 
Lord Jesus, he justifies them — absolves them from the 
guilt of all their sins, and acknowledges them as just 
and righteous persons, through the merits and mediation 
of Jesus Christ. And having thus justified, he receives 
them to glory — to heaven. 

" This is the sum of what I believe concerning predes- 
tination, which I think is agreeable to the analogy of 
faith ; since it does in nowise derogate from the glory 
of God's free grace, nor impair the liberty of man. Nor 
can it with more reason be supposed that the prescience 
of God is the cause that so many finally perish, than 
that our knowing the sun will rise to-morrow is the cause 
of its rising." 

Mr. Wesley found it difficult to reconcile the seven- 
teenth article of the church, concerning predestination, 
to the general doctrines of the churchy and to the holy 

22 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

Scriptures. He knew, and has often demonstrated, that 
the Calvinistic doctrines of reprobation and election are 
false ; but still there appeared to be something to support 
them in the above article, and it was in reference to 
this that he wished to have his mother's views of the 

The following letter, written to him nearly two years 
after, will show what care this excellent mother took of 
her son's spiritual progress, and of his regular deport- 
ment through life. 

" Jan. 31, 1727. 

" ■■ I am verily persuaded, that the reason 

why so many seek to enter into the kingdom of heaven, 
but are not able, is, there is some Delilah, some one 
beloved vice, they will not part with ; hoping that by a 
strict observance of their duty in other things, that par- 
ticular fault will be dispensed with. But, alas! they 
miserably deceive themselves. The way which leads to 
heaven is so narrow, the gate we must enter in so strait, 
that it will not permit a man to pass with one known 
unmortified sin about him. Therefore let every one in 
the beginning of their Christian course seriously we'gh 
what our Lord says in St. Luke xiv. 27 — 34 : " For 
whosoever, having put his hand to the plough, looketh 
back, is not fit for the kingdom of God.' 

" I am nothing pleased we advised you to have your 
plaid ; though I am that you think it too dear ; because 
I take it to be an indication that you are disposed to 
thrift, which is a rare qualification in a young man who 
has his fortune to make. Indeed, such an one can hardly 
be too wary, or too careful. I would not recommend 
taking thought for the morrow any further than is need- 


ful for our improvement of present opportunities, in a 
prudent management of those talents God has com- 
mitted to our trust. And so far I think it is the duty 
of all to take thought for the morrow. And I heartily 
wish you may be well apprised of this while life is 
young. For, — 

Believe me, youth (for I am read in cares, 

And bend beneath the weight of more than fifty years), 

Believe me, dear son, old age is the worst time we can 
choose to mend either our lives or our fortunes. If the 
foundations of solid piety are not laid betimes in sound 
principles and virtuous dispositions ; and if we neglect, 
while strength and vigour lasts, to lay up something ere 
the infirmities of age overtake us ; it is a hundred to one 
odds that we shall die both poor and wicked. 

" Ah ! my dear son, did you with me stand on the 
verge of life, and saw before your eyes a vast expanse, 
an unlimited duration of being, which you might shortly 
enter upon, you can't conceive how all the inadver- 
tencies, mistakes, and sins of youth would rise to your 
view ; and how different the sentiments of sensitive 
pleasures, the desire of sexes, and pernicious friendships 
of the world, would be then, from what they are now, 
while health is entire, and seems to promise many years 
of life." 

The following letter on the nature and properties of 
love, would be a gem even in the best written treatise 
on the powers and passions of the human mind. The 
concluding advice relative to the mode of treating such 
matters in public preaching must interest all those who 
minister at the altar of the Lord. 

24 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

" Wroote, May 14, 1727- 
" Dear Son, 

"The difficulty there is in separating the ideas of things 
that nearly resemble each other, and whose properties 
and effects are much the same, has, I believe, induced 
some to think that the human soul has no passion but 
love ; and that all those passions or affections which 
we distinguish by the names of hope, fear, joy, &c, are 
no more than various modes of love. This notion 
carries some show of reason, though I can't acquiesce 
in it. I must confess I never yet met with such an 
accurate definition of the passion of love, as fully satis- 
fied me. It is indeed commonly defined 'a desire of 
union with a known or apprehended good.' But this 
directly makes love and desire the same thing ; which, 
on a close inspection, I conceive they are not, for this 
reason : desire is strongest, and acts most vigorously, 
when the beloved object is distant, absent, or appre- 
hended unkind or displeased ; whereas when the union 
is attained, and fruition perfect, complacency, delight, 
and joy fill the soul of the lover, while desire lies 
quiescent ; which plainly shows (at least to me) that 
desire of union is an effect of love, and not love itself. 

" What then is love ? or how shall we describe its 
strange mysterious essence ? It is — I do not know what! 
A powerful something ! source of our joy and grief ! 
Felt and experienced by every one, and yet unknown 
to all ! Nor shall we ever comprehend what it is, till 
we are united to our First Principle, and there read its 
wondrous nature in the clear mirror of uncreated Love ; 
till which time it is best to rest satisfied with such 
apprehensions of its essence as we can collect from our 
observations of its effects and properties; for other 


knowledge of it in our present state is too high and too 
wonderful for us ; neither can we attain unto it. 

" Suffer now a word of advice. However curious you 
may be in searching into the nature, or in distinguishing 
the properties, of the passions or virtues of human kind, 
for your own private satisfaction, he very cautious in 
giving nice distinctions in public assemblies; for it does 
noTansweFtEe True~end of preaching, which is to mend 
men's lives, and" not lilT their heads with unprofitable 
speculations. AncTaFter all that can~be~saict, every affec- 
tion of the soul is better known by experience than any 
description that can be given of it. An honest man will 
more easily apprehend what is meant by being zealous 
for God and against sin, when he hears what are the 
properties and effects of true zeal, than the most accurate 
definition of its essence. 

" Dear son, the conclusion of your letter is very kind. 
That you were ever dutiful, I very well know. But I 
know myself enough to rest satisfied with a moderate 
degree of your affection. Indeed it would be unjust in 
me to desire the love of any one. Your prayers I want 
and wish; nor shall I cease while I live to beseech 
Almighty God to bless you. Adieu." 

It appears that about this time Mr. J. Wesley had 
written to his mother concerning afflictions, and what 
was the best method of profiting by them ; also ex- 
pressing a wish that he might not survive so kind and 
good a parent ; and stating his conviction how happy 
she, who had lived so much devoted to God, must be 
in her last hours. To all of which she answers with her 
usual good sense, strong judgment, and deep piety. 


26 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

" Wroote, July 26, 1727- 
" It is certainly true that I have had large experience 
of what the world calls adverse fortune. But I have 
not made those improvements in piety and virtue, under 
the discipline of Providence, that I ought to have done ; 
therefore I humbly conceive myself to be unfit for an 
assistant to another in affliction, since I have so ill per- 
formed my own duty. But, blessed be God ! you are 
at present in pretty easy circumstances ; which, I thank- 
fully acknowledge, is a great mercy to me as well as you. 
Yet if hereafter you should meet with troubles of various 
sorts, as it is probable you will in the course of your 
life, be it of short or long continuance, the best prepara- 
tion I know of for sufferings is a regular and exact 
performance of present duty ; for this will surely render 
a man pleasing to God, and put him directly under 
the protection of his good providence, so that no evil 
shall befall him, but what he will certainly be the better 
for it. 

" It is incident to all men to regard the past and the 
future, while the present moments pass unheeded ; 
whereas, in truth, neither the one nor the other is of 
use to us any farther than they put us upon improving 
the present time. 

•' You did well to correct that fond desire of dying 
before me, since you do not know what work God may 
have for you to do ere you leave the world. And besides, 
I ought surely to have the pre-eminence in point of time, 
and go to rest before you. Whether you could see me 
die without any emotions of grief, I know not ; perhaps 
you could ; it is what I have often desired of the chil- 
dren, that they would not weep at our parting, and so 
make death more uncomfortable than it would other- 
wise be to me. If you, or any other of my children, 


were like to reap any spiritual advantage by being with 
rae at my exit, I should be glad to have you with me. 
But as I have been an unprofitable servant, during the 
course of a long life, I have no reason to hope for so 
great an honour, so high a favour, as to be employed in 
doing our Lord any service in the article of death. It 
were well if you spake prophetically, and that joy and 
hope might have the ascendant over the other passions 
of my soul in that important hour. Yet I dare not 
presume, nor do I despair, but rather leave it to our 
Almighty Saviour, to do with me both in life and 
death just what he pleases, for I have no choice. " 

The following letter, on the absolute necessity of a 
Redeemer to save fallen man, and of faith in him in 
order to salvation, will doubtless meet with the full 
approbation of every pious reader. 

"Epworth, Feb. 14, 1735. 
" Dear Son, 

"Since God is altogether inaccessible to us but by 
Jesus Christ, and since none ever was or ever will be 
saved but by him, is it not absolutely necessary for all 
people, young and old, to be well grounded in the know- 
ledge and faith of Jesus Christ ? By faith, I do not 
mean an assent only to the truths of the gospel con- 
cerning him, but such an assent as influences our prac- 
tice ; as makes us heartily and thankfully accept him 
for our God and Saviour upon his own conditions. No 
faith below this can be saving. And since this faith is 
necessary to salvation, can it be too frequently or too 
explicitly discoursed on to young people ? I think not. 

" But since the natural pride of man is wont to suggest 
to him that he is self-sufficient, and has no need of a 


28 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

Saviouf, may it not be proper to show (the young espe- 
cially) that without the great Atonement there could be 
no remission of sin; and that, in the present state of 
human nature, no man can qualify himself for heaven 
without the Holy Spirit, which is given by God incar- 
nate ? To convince them of this truth, might it not be 
needful to inform them, that, since God is infinitely just, 
or, rather, that he is Justice itself, it necessarily follows 
that vindictive justice is an essental property in the 
divine nature ; and if so, one of these two things seems 
to have been absolutely necessary : either, that there 
must be an adequate satisfaction made to the divine 
justice for the violation of God's law by mankind; or 
"else, that the whole human species should have perished 
in Adam (which would have afforded too great matter 
of triumph to the apostate angels) ; otherwise how could 
God have been just to himself? Would not some men- 
tion of the necessity of revealed religion be proper here ? 
since, without it, all the wit of man could never have 
found out how human nature was corrupted in its foun- 
tain; neither had it been possible for us to have disco- 
vered any way or means whereby it might have been 
restored to its primitive purity. Nay, had it been possible 
for the brightest angels in heaven to have found out 
such a way to redeem and restore mankind as God hath 
appointed, yet durst any of them have proposed it to 
the uncreated Godhead ? No ; surely the Offended 
must appoint the way to save the offender, or man must 
be lost for ever. 'O the depth of the riches of the 
wisdom, and knowledge, and goodness of God ! how 
unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past 
finding out ! As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are his thoughts higher than our thoughts, and his 
ways than our ways !' 


" Here, surely, you may give free scope to your spirits ; 
here you may freely use your Christian liberty, and 
discourse without reserve of the excellency of the know- 
ledge and love of Christ, as his Spirit gives you utter- 

" What, my son, did the pure and holy Person of the 
Son of God pass by the fallen angels, who were far 
superior, of greater dignity, and of a higher order in the 
scale of existence, and choose to unite himself to the 
human nature? And shall we soften, as you call it, 
these glorious truths? Rather let us speak boldly, 
without fear. These truths ought to be frequently in- 
culcated, and pressed home upon the consciences of 
men ; and when once men are affected with a sense of 
redeeming love, that sense will powerfully convince them 
of the vanity of the world, and make them esteem the 
honour, wealth, and pleasures of it as dross or dung, so 
that they may win Christ. 

" As for moral subjects, they are necessary to be dis- 
coursed on ; but then I humbly conceive we are to speak 
of moral virtues as Christians, and not like heathens. 
And if we would indeed do honour to our Saviour, we 
should take all fitting occasions to make men observe 
the essence and perfection of the moral virtues taught 
by Christ and his apostles, far surpassing all that was 
pretended to by the very best of the heathen philoso- 
phers. All their morality was defective in principle and 
direction ; was intended only to regulate the outward 
actions, but never reached the heart ; or, at the highest, 
it looked no farther than the temporal happiness of 
mankind. ' But moral virtues, evangelized or improved 
into Christian duties, have partly a view to promote the 
good of human society here, but chiefly to qualify the 


30 op mb. wesley's ancestors. 

observers of them for a much more blessed and more 
enduring society hereafter.' I cannot stay to enlarge on 
this vast subject ; nor, indeed (considering whom I write 
to), is it needful ; yet one thing I cannot forbear adding, 
which may carry some weight with his admirers, and 
that is, the very wise and just reply which Mr. Locke 
made to one that desired him to draw up a system of 
morals. ' Did the world,' said he, ' want a rule, I con- 
fess there could be no work so necessary nor so com- 
mendable ; but the gospel contains so perfect a body of 
ethics, that reason may be excused from the inquiry, 
since she may find man's duty clearer and easier in 
revelation than in herself.' 

"That you may continue stedfast in the faith, and 
increase more and more in the knowledge and love of 
God, and of his Son Jesus Christ ; that holiness, simpli- 
city, and purity (which are different words signifying 
the same thing) may recommend you to the favour of 
God incarnate ; that his Spirit may dwell in you, and 
keep you still (as now) under a sense of God's blissful 
presence, is the hearty prayer of 

" Dear son, 
" Your affectionate mother, 

" and most faithful friend, 

" S. W " 

With respect to the angelic nature, my creed is differ- 
ent from that of Mrs. Wesley. I believe man, as he 
came from the hands of God, was much higher in the 
excellence and perfection of his nature than angels. 
" Man was created in the image and likeness of God." 
This is not said of angels nor archangels ; and it appears 
to me that it was the superior excellence of this nature 


that caused Jesus Christ to take upon him the nature of 
man, and not the nature of angels.* 

The last of her letters I shall give the reader in this 
place. It is one written to her son John near the close 
of this year, on the happiness resulting from a close and 
constant communion with God. She had a few months 
before buried the husband of her youth ; and was now, 
as I collect, on a visit to her daughter Emily, who had 
taken up a school at Gainsborough, about twelve miles 
from Epworth. 

" Gainsborough, Nov. 2Jth, 1735. 
" God is Being itself! the I AM! and 

therefore must necessarily be the Supreme Good ! He 
is so infinitely blessed, that every perception of his 
blissful presence imparts a vital gladness to the heart. 
Every degree of approach towards him is, in the same 
proportion, a degree of happiness. And I often think, 
that were he always present to our mind, as we are 
present to him, there would be no pain nor sense of 
misery. I have long since chose him for my only Good ; 
my All ; my pleasure, my happiness in this world, as 
well as in the world to come. And although I have not 
been so faithful to his grace as I ought to have been ; 
yet I feel my spirit adheres to its choice, and aims daily 
at cleaving stedfastly unto God. Yet one thing often 
troubles me, that, notwithstanding I know that while 
we are present with the body we are absent from the 
Lord; notwithstanding I have no taste, no relish left 
for anything the world calls pleasure, yet I do not long 

* Dr. Clarke has entered largely into this subject, in his dis- 
course on " The Love of God to a Lost World," founded on John 
iii. 16. — Editor. 

32 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

to go home as in reason I ought to do. This often 
shocks me : and as I constantly pray (almost without 
ceasing) for thee, my son ; so I beg you likewise to pray 
for me, that God would make me better, and take me at 
the best. 

" Your loving mother, 

" Susanna Wesley." 

We have now seen, 1. The plan this extraordinary 
woman adopted in the nursing and bringing up her 
children; and, 2. The pains she took with her son 
John, when at the university, to instil into him those 
heavenly truths which he afterwards, with such clear- 
ness, strength, and effect, declared to the world. 3. We 
shall find from what follows, that she endeavoured to 
embody all her knowledge and experience, and form 
them into a regular system, for the future edification of 
her family. 

Mrs. Wesley not only examined the grounds of the 
controversy between the church and the dissenters with 
conscientious carefulness, but she examined in a similar 
way the evidences of natural and revealed religion ; and 
under every article set down the reasons which deter- 
mined her to receive the Bible as a revelation from God. 
On these subjects I have several things in her own 
hand- writing, which shall be introduced in their proper 
place : but her master-piece is entirely lost. A letter of 
hers to her son Samuel, dated Oct. 11th, 1709, will 
illustrate the above particulars : — 

" There is nothing I now desire to live for 

but to do some small service to my children ; that as I 
have brought them into the world, I may, if it please 
God, be an instrument of doing good to their souls. I 


had been for several years collecting from my little 
reading, but chiefly from my own observation and expe- 
rience, some things which I hoped might be useful 
to you all. I had begun to correct and form all into a 
little manual t wherein I designed you should have seen 
what were the particular reasons which prevailed on me 
to believe the being of a God, and the grounds of natural 
religion ; together with the motives that induced me to 
embrace the faith of Jesus Christ, under which was 
comprehended my own private reasons for the truth of 
revealed religion. And because I was educated among 
the dissenters, and there was something remarkable in 
my leaving them at so early an age, not being full thir- 
teen, I had drawn up an account of the whole transac- 
tion, under which I had included the main of the 
controversy between them and the established church, 
as far as it had come to my knowledge ; and then fol- 
lowed the reasons which had determined my judgment 
to the preference of the Church of England. I had 
fairly transcribed a great part of it, when you, writing 
to me for some directions about receiving the sacrament, 
I began a short discourse on that subject, intending to 
send them all together; but before I could finish my 
design, the flames consumed both this and all my other 
writings. I would have you at your leisure do something 
like this for yourself, and write down what are the 
principles on which you build your faith ; and though I 
cannot possibly recover all I formerly wrote, yet I will 
gladly assist you what I can in explaining any difficulty 
that may occur." 

We have already seen that the parsonage-house at 
Ep worth was three parts consumed July 31, 1702. But 
a more severe conflagration took place on the 9th Feb., 

34 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

1709, which has also been noticed, by which the whole 
house and the property were totally destroyed, the family 
escaping with their lives, almost by miracle ; the parti- 
culars of which calamity are given in a letter from Mrs. 
W to a neighbouring clergyman; and some incidents 
supplied by Mr. John Wesley himself. 

"Epmrth, Aug. 24th, 1709. 
" On Wednesday night, Feb. 9, between the hours of 
eleven and twelve, some sparks fell from the roof of our 
house, upon one of the children's (Hetty) feet. She 
immediately ran to our chamber, and called us. Mr. 
Wesley, hearing a cry of fire in the street, started up 
(as I was very ill, he lay in a separate room from me), 
and opening his door, found the fire was in his own 
house. He immediately came to my room, and bid me 
and my eldest daughters rise quickly and shift for our- 
selves. Then he ran and burst open the nursery-door, 
and called to the maid to bring out the children. The 
two little ones lay in the bed with her ; the three others, 
in another bed. She snatched up the youngest, and bid 
the rest follow ; which the three elder did. When we 
were got into the hall, and were surrounded with flames, 
Mr. Wesley found he had left the keys of the doors 
above stairs. He ran up and recovered them, a minute 
before the stair-case took fire. When we opened the 
street-door, the strong north-east wind drove the flames 
in with such violence, that none could stand against 
them. But some of our children got out through the 
windows, the rest through a little door into the garden. 
I was not in a condition to climb up to the windows, 
neither could I get to the garden-door. I endeavoured 
three times to force my passage through the street-door, 
but was as often beat back by the fury of the flames. 


In this distress I besought our blessed Saviour for help, 
and then waded through the fire, naked as I was ; which 
did me no further harm, than a little scorching my hands 
and my face. 

" When Mr. Wesley had seen the other children safe, 
he heard the child in the nursery cry. He attempted to 
go up the stairs, but they were all on fire, and would not 
bear his weight. Finding it impossible to give any help, 
he kneeled down in the hall, and recommended the soul 
of the child to God. 

" I believe," observes Mr. John Wesley, " it was just 
at that time I waked ; for I did not cry as they imagined, 
unless it was afterwards. I remember all the circum- 
stances as distinctly as though it were but yesterday. 
Seeing the room was very light, I called to the maid to 
take me up. But none answering, I put my head out 
of the curtains, and saw streaks of fire on the top of the 
room. I got up and ran to the door, but could get no 
further, all the door beyond it being in a blaze. I then 
climbed up on a chest, which stood near the window : 
one in the yard saw me, and proposed running to fetch 
a ladder. Another answered, ' I'here will not be time ; 
but I have thought of another expedient. Here I will 
fix myself against the wall ; lift a light man, and set 
him upon my shoulders.' They did so ; and he took me 
out of the window. Just then the whole roof fell in ; 
but it fell inward, or we had all been crushed at once. 
When they brought me into the house where my father 
was, he cried out, ' Come, neighbours, let us kneel 
down ; let us give thanks to God ! He has given me 
all my eight children; let the house go; I am rich 
enough.' The next day, as he was walking in the 
garden, and surveying the ruins of the house, he picked 
up part of a leaf of his Polyglott Bible, on which just 

36 of mr. weslby's ancestors. 

those words were legible: Vade; vende omnia quae 
habes, et attolle crucem et sequere me. " Go ; sell all 
that thou hast ; and take up thy cross, and follow me.' "* 
But the severest loss, at least to posterity, then sus- 
tained, was the destruction of all the family papers. All 
Mr. Wesley's writings t and correspondence, and the 
very important writings of Mrs. Wesley, such as those 

* Mr. John Wesley was of opinion that this fire was the effect 
of design, and not of accident. Mr. Moore observes, " The follow- 
ing anecdote, related to me by Mr. John Wesley, will throw some 
light upon this event. Many of his father's parishioners gave him 
much trouble about his tithes. At one time they would only pay 
in kind. Going into a field, upon one of these occasions, where 
the tithe-corn was laid out, Mr. Wesley found a farmer very deli- 
berately at work with a pair of shears, cutting off the ears of corn, 
and putting them into a bag which he had brought with him for 
that purpose. Mr. Wesley said not anything to him, but took him 
by the arm, and walked with him into the town. When they got 
into the market-place, Mr. Wesley seized the bag, and, turning it 
inside out before all the people, told them what the farmer had 
been doing. He then left him, with his pilfered spoils, to the 
judgment of his neighbours, and walked quietly home." — Life of 
Wesley, vol. i., p. 112. If we connect with Mr. J. Wesley's opi- 
nion, that " some of his father's wicked parishioners could not 
bear the plain dealing of so faithful and resolute a pastor," the 
political squabbles in which he had been embroiled only a few 
years before, and which are too often the means of exciting feelings 
that are not soon allayed, together with the injuries inflicted upon 
his property, as related in a letter from Lincoln Castle, dated Sept. 
12, 1705, we shall find his suspicions of design tolerably well sup- 
ported . — Editor . 

t He wrote largely upon Hebrew poetry, and speaks of a work 
he had composed on the Psalms, in which the Hebrew was reduced 
into " rhimed verses." The same he had done by the other poetical 
books, and the hymns which are in the Pentateuch and the Judges. 
Psalm cl. is the only one preserved as a specimen. 


mentioned above, besides many papers and other matters 
relative to the Annesley family, and particularly Dr. 
Annesley himself; for, as Mrs. Susanna Wesley was 
his most beloved child, he had intrusted to her many 
invaluable documents. This information I have received 
from a particular and learned friend, who received it 
from Mr. John Wesley himself. 

After the last fire, the family, as will have been seen, 
were scattered to different parts ; the children were 
divided among neighbours, relatives, and friends, till 
the house could be rebuilt. Mr. Matthew Wesley, the 
Surgeon, took two, Susan and Mehetabel, with whom 
their mother corresponded, in order to instruct them in 
divine matters, and to confirm them in the truths they 
had already received. Having lost the fruits of her for- 
mer labour on the evidences of revealed religion, &c, 
she began her work de novo ; and in a long letter to her 
daughter Susan, went over the most important parts of 
the same ground, and produced a treatise on the chief 
articles of the Christian faith, taking for her ground- 
work the Apostles' Creed. 

This invaluable paper I rejoice to be able to lay before 
the reader, as one of the most precious relics of this ex- 
traordinary woman. And it will be considered the more 
important, as itself was saved from a fire not less ruinous 
than that in which its predecessor was consumed.* It 
was written but a few months after that to Samuel, 
already mentioned. 

* Among other little mementos of this calamity, four leaves of 
music may be noticed, the edges of which, bear the marks of the 
fire, and may be handed down to posterity as a curiosity. Charles 
Wesley, jun. has written on one of the leaves, " The words by my 
Grandfather, the Rev. Samuel Wesley. Probably the music 
adapted by Henry Purcell, or Dr. Blow." Then follows, — 

38 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

" Epworth, Jan. 13, 1709-10. 
" Dear Sukey, 

" Since our misfortunes have separated us from each 
other, and we can no longer enjoy the opportunities we 
once had of conversing together, I can no other way 
discharge the duty of a parent, or comply with my in- 
clination of doing you all the good I can, but by writing. 

" You know very well how I love you. I love your 
body; and do earnestly beseech Almighty God to bless 
it with health, and all things necessary for its com- 
fort and support in this world. But my tenderest regard 
is for your immortal soul, and for its spiritual happiness ; 
which regard I cannot better express, than by endeavour- 
ing to instil into your mind those principles of know- 
ledge and virtue that are absolutely necessary in order 

" A Hymn on the Passion. The words by the Rev. Mr. Samuel 
Wesley, rector of Epworth, in the diocese of Lincoln. 

Behold the Saviour of mankind, &c. 

Tho' far unequal our low praise 
To thy vast sufferings prove, 
O Lamb of God, thus all our days, 
Thus will we grieve and love. 


Hark! how he groans, while nature shakes, &c. 

'Tis done, the precious ransom's paid, &c. 

Tho' far unequal our low praise, &:c. 

Thy loss our ruins did repair, 

Death, by thy death, is slain ; 
Thou wilt at length exait us where 
Thou dost in glory reign." 



to your leading a good life here, which is the only thing 
that can infallibly secure your happiness hereafter. 

" The main thing which is now to be done is, to lay 
a good foundation, that you may act upon principles, 
and be always able, to satisfy yourself, and give a reason 
to others of the faith that is in you :. for any one who 
makes a profession of religion, only because it is the 
custom of the country in which they live, or because 
their parents do so, or their worldly interest is thereby 
secured or advanced, will never be able to stand in the 
day of temptation ; nor shall they ever enter into the 
kingdom of heaven. And though, perhaps, you cannot 
at present fully comprehend all I shall say ; yet keep 
this letter by you, and as you grow in years your reason 
and judgment will improve, and you will obtain a more 
clear understanding in all things. 

"You have already been instructed in some of the 
first principles of religion : that there is one, and but 
one God ; that in the unity of the Godhead there are 
three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; 
that this God ought to be worshipped. You have learned 
some prayers, your creed and catechism, in which is 
briefly comprehended your duty to God, yourself, and 
your neighbour. But, Sukey, it is not learning these 
things by heart, nor your saying a few prayers morning 
and night, that will bring you to heaven ; you must un- 
derstand what you say, and you must practise what you 
know : and since knowledge is requisite in order to prac- 
tice, I shall endeavour (after as plain a manner as I can) to 
instruct you in some of those fundamental points which 
are most necessary to be known, and most easy to be 
understood. And I earnestly beseech the Great Father 
of Spirits to guide your mind into the way of truth. 

" Though it has been generally acknowledged, that 

40 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

the being and perfections of God, and a great part of 
man's duty towards him, as that we should love him, 
and pray to him for what we want, and praise him for 
what we enjoy, as likewise much of our duty towards 
ourselves and neighbour, are discoverable by the light of 
nature, that is, by that understanding and reason which 
are natural to man ; yet, considering the present state of 
mankind, it was absolutely necessary that w# should 
have some reVelation from God to make known to us 
those truths upon the knowledge of which our salvation 
depends, and which unassisted reason could never have 
discovered. For all the duties of natural religion, and 
all the hopes of happiness which result from the per- 
formance of them, are all concluded within the present 
life ; nor could we have had any certainty of the future 
state of the being of spirits, of the immortality of the 
soul, or of a judgment to come. 

" And though we may perceive that all men have by 
nature a strong bent or bias towards evil, and a great 
averseness from God and goodness ; that our under- 
standings, wills, and aifections, &c. are extremely cor- 
rupted and depraved ; yet how could we have known by 
what means we became so, or how sin and death entered 
into the world ? Since we are assured that whatever is 
absolutely perfect, as God is, could never be the author of 
evil ; and we are as sure that whatever is corrupt or im- 
pure must necessarily be offensive and displeasing to the 
most holy God, there being nothing more opposite than 
good and evil. Nay, further, sin is not only displeasing 
to God, as it is contrary to the purity of his divine na- 
ture ; but it is the highest affront and indignity to his 
sacred majesty imaginable. 

" By it his most wise and holy laws are contemned 
and violated, and his honour most impiously treated; 


and therefore he is in justice obliged to punish such con- 
tempt, and to vindicate the honour of his own laws : 
nor can he, without derogating from his infinite perfec- 
tions, pardon such offenders, or remit the punishment 
they deserve, without full satisfaction made to his justice. 

" Now I would fain know which way his justice 
could be satisfied, since it is impossible for a finite being 
like man to do it ; or how the nature of man should be 
renewed, or he again be admitted into the favour of 
God; or how reason could suggest that our weak en- 
deavours and petitions should be acceptable instead of 
perfect obedience, unless some others were substituted 
in our stead, that would undergo the punishment we 
have deserved, and thereby satisfy divine justice, and 
purchase pardon and favour with God, the merit of 
whose perfect obedience should atone for the imperfec- 
tion of ours, and so obtain for us a title to those glorious 
rewards, to that eternal happiness, of which we must ac- 
knowledge ourselves utterly unworthy, and of which we 
must have despaired without such a Saviour ? 

" Or how should we have had any certainty of our 
salvation, unless God had revealed these things unto us ? 
The soul is immortal, and must survive all time, even to 
eternity ; and, consequently, it must have been miserable 
to the utmost extent of its duration, had we not had that 
sacred treasure of knowledge which is contained in the 
books of the Old and New Testament — a treasure in- 
finitely more valuable than the whole world, because 
therein we find all things necessary for our salvation. 
There also we find many truths, which, though we can- 
not say it is absolutely necessary that we should know 
them (since it is possible to be saved without that know- 
ledge), yet it is highly convenient that we should ; be- 
cause they give us great light into those things which 

42 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

are necessary to be known, and solve many doubts which 
could not otherwise be cleared. 

" Thus we collect from many passages of Scripture, 
that before God created the visible world, or ever he 
made man, he created a higher rank of intellectual 
beings, which we call angels or spirits ; and these were 
those bright morning stars, mentioned in Job, which 
sang together ; those sons of God which shouted for joy 
when the foundations of the earth were laid. To these 
he gave a law or rule of action, as he did afterwards to 
the rest of his creation ; and they being free agents, 
having a principle of liberty, of choosing or refusing, and 
of acting accordingly, as they must have, or they could 
not properly be called either good or evil ; for upon this 
principle of freedom or liberty the principle of election 
or choice is founded; and upon the choosing good or 
evil depends the being virtuous or vicious, since liberty 
is the formal essence of moral virtue ; that is, it is the 
free choice of a rational being that makes them either 
good or bad ; nor could any one that acts by necessity 
be ever capable of rewards or punishments : — the angels, 
I say, being free agents, must, I think, necessarily 
be put on some trial of their obedience; and so con- 
sequently were at first only placed in a state of pro- 
bation or trial. Those who made a good use of their 
liberty, and chose to obey the law of their Creator, and 
acquiesced in the order of the divine wisdom, which had 
disposed them in several ranks and orders subservient to 
each other, were by the almighty fiat confirmed in their 
state of blessedness ; nor are they now capable of any 

" But those accursed spirits that rebelled against their 
Maker, and aspired above the rank in which his provi- 
dence had placed them, were for their presumption 


justly excluded the celestial paradise ; and condemned 
to perpetual torments, which were the necessary con- 
sequences of their apostasy. 

" After the fall of the angels, and perhaps to supply 
their defects, it pleased the eternal goodness to create 
Adam, who was the first general head of mankind ; and 
in him was virtually included the whole species of 
human nature. He was somewhat inferior to the angels, 
being composed of two different natures, body and soul. 
The former was material, or matter made of the earth ; 
the latter immaterial, or a spiritual substance, created 
after the image of God. And as man was also a rational 
free agent like the angels, so it was agreeable to the 
Eternal Wisdom to place him likewise in a state of pro- 
bation ; and the trial of his obedience was, not eating of 
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the penalty 
of his disobedience was death. 

" This trial was suited to the double or mixed nature 
of man; the beauty, scent, and taste of the fruit was 
the trial of their senses or appetites ; and the virtue of 
it being not only good for food, but also to be desired to 
make one wise, was the trial of their minds ; and by 
this God made proof of our first parents, to see whether 
they would deny their sensual appetites, and keep the 
body in due subjection to the mind; or whether they 
would prefer the pleasures of sense, and thereby dethrone 
their reason, break the covenant of their obedience, and 
forfeit the favour of God and eternal happiness; and 
whether they would humbly be content with that mea- 
sure of knowledge and understanding which God thought 
best for them, or boldly pry into those things which he 
had forbidden them to search after. 

" Now the devil, envying the happiness of our first 
parents, being grieved that any less perfect beings should 

44 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

possess the place he had lost, took occasion from the 
reasonable trial God had proposed to Adam, to attack 
the woman by a subtle question, 'Yea, hath God said, 
that ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?' Hath 
he created this beauteous world, this great variety of 
creatures, for your use and enjoyment, and made these 
delicious fruits which he himself hath pronounced good, 
and yet forbidden you to taste them ? To which she 
replied, ' We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the 
garden ; but of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the 
garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither 
shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' Upon which the malicious 
tempter boldly presumed to give the lie to his Maker. 
' Ye shall not surely die ; for God doth know that in the 
day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and 
ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when 
the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and 
that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired 
to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did 
eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did 
eat,' &c. 

" Thus pride and sensuality ruined our first parents, 
and brought them and their posterity into a state of 
mortality. Thus sin entered into the world, and death 
by sin, and thus was human nature corrupted at its 
fountain ; and as a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good 
fruit, so of consequence the children of guilty Adam 
must be corrupt and depraved. -Any one who will 
make the least reflection on his own mind, may soon be 
convinced of this great truth, that not only the body is 
weak and infirm, subject to divers diseases, liable to 
many ill accidents, and even to death itself, but also the 
superior powers of the soul are weakened ; as the apostle 
expresses it,' ' at enmity with God.' 


"The understanding, which was designed chiefly to 
be exercised in the knowledge and contemplation of the 
supreme Being, is darkened; nor can it, without the 
divine assistance, discern the radiant glories of the Deity. 
And though it should naturally press after truth, as being 
its proper object ; yet it seldom, and not without great 
difficulty, attains to the knowledge of it ; but is subject 
to ignorance, which is the sin of the understanding, 
because it generally proceeds from our natural indis- 
position to search after truth. Error is the sin or defect 
of the judgment, mistaking one thing for another, not 
having clear and distinct apprehensions of things; for 
which reason it is frequently guilty of making wrong 
determinations. Not choosing or not inclining to good, 
or adhering to and preferring evil before it, is the sin of 
the will. A readiness in receiving vain, impure, 
ideas or images, and a backwardness in receiving good 
and useful ideas, is the sin of the imagination or fancy ; 
and a facility in retaining evil and vain ideas, and a 
neglect of or a readiness to let slip those which are good, 
is the sin or defect of the memory. 

" Loving, hating, desiring, fearing, &c. what we should 
not love, hate, desire, fear, &c. at all in the least degree ; 
or when the object of such passions are lawful, to love, 
hate, desire, &c. more than reason requires ; or else not 
loving, hating, desiring, &c. when we ought to love, hate, 
desire, &c. ; in short, any error, either in defect or excess, 
either too much or too little, is the vice or sin of the 
passions or affections of the soul. 

" Now, if we consider the infinite, boundless, incom- 
prehensible perfections of the ever-blessed God, we may 
easily conceive that evil, that sin is the greatest contra- 
diction imaginable to his most holy nature ; and that 
no evil, no disease, pain, or natural uncleanness what- 

46 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

ever, is so* hateful, so loathsome to us, as the corrup- 
tions and imperfections of the soul are to him. He is 
infinite purity, absolutely separated from all moral im- 
perfection. The divine intellect is all brightness, all 
perfect; was never, and can never be, capable of the 
least ignorance. He is truth; nor can he be weary 
or indisposed in contemplating that great attribute of 
his most perfect nature, but has a constant steady view 
of truth. 

" And as he fully comprehends at once all things past, 
present, and to come ; so all objects appear to him simple, 
naked, undisguised in their natures, properties, relations, 
and ends, truly as they are ; nor is it possible that he 
should be guilty of error or mistake ; of making any 
false judgment or wrong determination. 

"He is goodness, and his most holy will cannot 
swerve or decline from what is so. He always wills 
what is absolutely best ; nor can he possibly be deceived 
or deceive any one. 

"The ideas of the Divine Mind are amiable, clear, 
holy, just, good, useful ; and he is of purer eyes than 
to behold iniquity. His love, desire, &c, though bound- 
less, immense, and infinite, are yet regular, immutable, 
always under the direction of his unerring wisdom, his 
unlimited goodness, and his impartial justice. 

" But who can by searching find out God ? Who can 
find out the Almighty to perfection ? What angel is 
worthy to speak his praise, who dwelleth in the inac- 
cessible light which no man can approach unto ? And 
though he is always surrounded by thousands and tens 
of thousands of those pure and happy spirits, yet are 
they represented to us as veiling their faces, as if con- 
scious of too much imperfection and weakness to behold 
his glory. And if he charged his angels with folly, 


and the stars are not pure in his sight, how much 
less man, that is a worm ; and the son of man, that is 
a worm? 

" And as we are thus corrupt and impure hy nature, so 
are we likewise the children of wrath, and in a state of 
damnation; for it was not only a temporal death with 
which God threatened our first parents if they were 
disobedient; but it was also a spiritual death, an eter- 
nal separation from him who is our life ; the consequence 
of which separation is our eternal misery. 

But the infinite goodness of God, who delighteth 
that his mercy should triumph over his justice, though 
he provided no remedy for the fallen angels, yet man 
being a more simple kind of creature, who perhaps 
did not sin so maliciously against so much knowledge as 
those apostate spirits did, he would not suffer the whole 
race of mankind to be ruined and destroyed by the 
fraud and subtlety of Satan ; but he laid help upon 
one that is mighty, that is able and willing to save to 
the uttermost all such as shall come unto God through 
him. And this Saviour was that seed of the woman, 
that was promised should bruise the head of the ser- 
pent, break the power of the devil, and bring mankind 
again into a salvable condition. And upon a view of 
that satisfaction which Christ would make for the sins 
of the whole world was the penalty of Adam's disobe- 
dience suspended, and he admitted to a second trial; 
and God renewed his covenant with man, not on the 
former condition of perfect obedience, but on condition 
of faith in Christ Jesus, and a sincere though imperfect 
obedience of the laws of God. I will speak something 
of these two branches of our duty distinctly. 

" By faith in Christ is to be understood an assent to 
whatever is recorded of him in Holy Scripture; or is 

48 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

said to be delivered by bim, either immediately by 
himself, or mediately by his prophets and apostles ; or 
whatever may, by just inferences or natural consequences, 
be collected from their writings. But because the 
greater part of mankind either want leisure or capacity 
to collect the several articles of faith which lie scattered 
up and down throughout the sacred writ, the wisdom of 
the church hath thought fit to sum them up in a short 
form of words, commonly called The Apostles Creed, 
which, because it comprehends the main of what a 
Christian ought to believe, I shall briefly explain unto 
you : and though I have not time at present to bring all 
the arguments I could to prove the being of God, his 
divine attributes, and the truth of revealed religion ; yet 
this short paraphrase may inform you what you should 
intend when you make the solemn confession of our 
most holy faith ; and may withal teach you that it is not 
to be said after a formal customary manner, but seriously, 
as in the presence of the Almighty God, who observes 
whether the heart join with the tongue, and whether 
your mind do truly assent to what you profess, when 
you say,— 


I do truly and heartily assent to the being of a God, one 
supreme independent Power, who is a Spirit infinitely 
wise, holy, good, just, true, unchangeable. 

" I do believe that this God is a necessary self-existent 
Being ; necessary, in that he could not but be, because 
he derives his existence from no other than himself; but 
he always is 


And having all life, all being in himself, all creatures 
must derive their existence from him; whence he is 


properly styled the Father of all things, more especially 
of all spiritual natures, angels and souls of men : and 
since he is the great Parent of the universe, it naturally 
follows that he is 


And this glorious attribute of his omnipotence is con- 
spicuous in that he hath a right of making anything 
which he willeth, after that manner which best pleaseth 
him, according to the absolute freedom of his own will ; 
and a right of possessing all things so made by him as 
he pleaseth : nor can his almighty infinite power admit 
of any weakness, dependance, or limitation ; but it ex- 
tendeth to all things — is boundless, incomprehensible, 
and eternal. And though we cannot comprehend, or 
have any adequate conceptions of what so far surpasseth 
the reach of human understanding, yet it is plainly de- 
monstrable that he is omnipotent, from his being the 


Of all things visible : nor could any thing less than 
almighty power produce the smallest, most inconsider- 
able thing out of nothing. Not the least spire of grassy 
or most despicable insect, but bears the divine signature, 
and carries in its existence a clear demonstration of the 
Deity. For could we admit of such a wild supposition 
as that any thing could make itself, it must necessarily 
follow that a thing had being before it had a being, that 
it could act before it was, which is a palpable contradic- 
tion ; from whence, among other reasons, we conclude 
that this beautiful world, that celestial arch over our 
heads, and all those glorious heavenly bodies, sun, moon, 
and stars, &c. ; in fine, the whole system of the universe, 
were in the beginning made or created out of nothing, 


50 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

by the eternal power, wisdom, and goodness of the ever- 
blessed God, according to the counsel of his own will ; 
or, as St. Paul better expresses it, Col. i. 16: " By 
him were all things created that are in heaven, and that 
are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, 
or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all things were 
created by him." 


Jesus signifies a Saviour ; and by that name he was 
called by the angel Gabriel before his birth, to show 
us that he came into the world to save us from our sins 
and the punishment they justly deserve, and to repair 
the damage human nature had sustained by the fall of 
Adam ; that as in Adam all died, so in Christ all should 
be made alive : and so he became the second general 
Head of all mankind. And as he was promised to our 
parents in paradise, so was his coming signified by the 
various types and sacrifices under the law, and foretold 
by the prophets, long before he appeared in the world. 

"And this Saviour — this Jesus — was the promised 
Messiah, who was so long the hope and expectation of 
the Jews, the 


which in the original signifies Anointed. Now among 
the Jews it was a custom to anoint three sorts of persons, 
prophets, priests, and kings; which anointing did not 
only show their designation to those offices, but was also 
usually attended with a special influence or inspiration 
of the Holy Spirit, to prepare and qualify them for such 
offices. Our blessed Lord, who was by his Almighty 
Father sanctified, and sent into the world, was also 
anointedj not with material oil, but by the descent of the 


Holy Ghost upon him, to signify to us that he was our 
Prophet, Priest, and King; and that he should first, 
as our prophet, fully and clearly reveal the will of God 
for our salvation, which accordingly he did. And though 
the Jews had long before received the law by Moses, 
yet a great part of that law was purely typical and cere- 
monial, and all of it that was so was necessarily vacated 
by the coming of our Saviour ; and that part which was 
moral, and consequently of perpetual obligation, they 
had so corrupted by their misrepresentations and various 
traditions, that it was not pure and undefiled, as God 
delivered it on Mount Sinai, which occasioned the words 
of our Lord : i Think not that I am come to destroy the 
law and the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to 
fulfil.' To accomplish the predictions of the prophets 
concerning himself, and to rescue the moral law from 
those false glosses they had put on it. Though the rest 
of the world were not altogether without some precepts 
of morality, yet they lay scattered up and down in the 
writings of a few wiser and better than the rest : but 
morality was never collected into a complete system till 
the coming of our Saviour ; nor was life and immortality 
brought fully to light till the preaching of the gospel. 

" He was also our priest, in that he offered up him- 
self a sacrifice to divine justice in our stead ; and by the 
perfect satisfaction he made, he did atone the displeasure 
of God, and purchase eternal life for us, which was for- 
feited by the first man's disobedience. 

" And as he is our prophet and priest, so likewise he 
is our king, and hath an undoubted right to govern 
those he hath redeemed by his blood ; and as such he 
will conquer for us all our spiritual enemies, sin, and 
death, and all the powers of the kingdom of darkness ; 
and when he hath perfectly subdued them, he will 

d 2 

52 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

actually cuhfer upon us eternal happiness. This satis- 
faction and purchase that Christ hath made for us is a 
clear proof of his Divinity, since no mere man is capable 
of meriting anything good from God ; and therefore we 
are obliged to consider him in a state of equality with 
the Father, being 


" Though we are all children of the Almighty Father, 
yet hath he one only Son, by an eternal and incom- 
prehensible generation, which only Son is Jesus the 
Saviour; being equal to the Father as touching his 
Godhead; but inferior to the Father as touching his 
manhood. God of God, Light of Light, Very God of 
Very God; begotten, not made. And this only Son 
of God we acknowledge to be 


In that he is co-equal and co-essential with the Father, 
and by him were all things made. Therefore, since Ave 
are his creatures, we must, with the apostle St. Thomas, 
confess him to be our Lord and our God. But besides 
this right to our allegiance, which he hath by creation, 
he hath redeemed us from death and hell, and he hath 
purchased us with his own blood : so that upon a double 
account we justly call him Lord, namely, that of creation 
and purchase. And as the infinite condescension of the 
eternal Son of God in assuming our nature was mys- 
terious and incomprehensible, surpassing the wisest of 
men or angels to conceive how such a thing might be ; 
so it was requisite and agreeable to the majesty of God^ 
that the conception of his sacred person should be after 
a manner altogether differing from ordinary generations ; 
accordingly it was he 



Whose miraculous conception was foretold by the angel, 
when his blessed mother questioned how she who was a 
virgin could conceive. u The Holy Ghost shall come 
upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over- 
shadow thee ; therefore also that Holy Thing which shall 
be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." And 
as all the sacrifices which represented our Saviour under 
the law, were to be without spot or blemish ; so likewise 
Christ, the great Christian sacrifice, was infinitely pure 
and holy, not only in his divine, but also in his human 
nature : he was perfectly immaculate, having none but 
God for his Father, being 



Whose spotless purity no age of the Catholic Church 
hath presumed to question. That the promised Messiah 
should be born of a virgin is plain from Jer. xxxi. 22, 
' The Lord hath created a new thing upon the earth ; a 
woman shall compass a man.' And from Isai. vii. 14, 
' Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and 
shall call his name Emmanuel.' And this seed of the 
woman must necessarily have assumed our nature, or 
he could never have been our Jesus, the Saviour of the 
world ; for the divine nature of the Son of God is in- 
finitely happy, utterly incapable of any grief, pain, or 
sense of misery. Nor could its union with humanity 
any way defile or pollute it, or derogate the least from its 
infinite perfection : so it was only as man that he 


those infirmities and calamities incident to human na- 
ture. What transactions passed between the Almighty 

d 3 

54 op mr. wesley's ancestors. 

Father anci his Eternal Son concerning the redemption 
of the world, we know not ; but we are sure that by an 
express agreement between them he was from eternity 
decreed to suffer for mankind. And in several places of 
the Old Testament it was written of the Son of Man, 
that he must suffer many things. And the Spirit of 
Christ that was in the prophets testified beforehand the 
sufferings of Christ ; particularly in Isai. liii. we have a 
sad but clear description of the sufferings of the Messiah. 
Indeed, his whole life was one continual scene of misery. 
No sooner was he born, than he was persecuted by 
Herod, and forced to flee into Egypt, in the arms of a 
weak virgin, under the protection of a foster-father. 
And when he returned into his own country, he for 
thirty years lived in a low condition, probably employed 
in the mean trade of a carpenter, which made him in 
the eyes of the world despicable, of no reputation. And 
when after so long an obscurity he appeared unto men. 
he entered upon his ministry with the severity of forty 
days* abstinence. 

" Behold the Eternal Lord of Nature transported into 
a wild and desolate wilderness, exposed to the inclemency 
of the air, and tempted by the apostate spirits ! 

" The Almighty Being, who justly claims a right to 
the whole creation, was himself hungry and athirst ; 
often wearied with painful travelling from place to place. 
And though he went about doing good ; and never sent 
any one away from him who wanted relief, without 
healing their diseases, and casting out those evil spirits 
which afflicted them ; yet was he despised and rejected 
of men ! The possessor of heaven and earth, the sove- 
reign Disposer of all things, from whose bounty all 
creatures receive what they enjoy of the necessary ac- 
commodations of life, was reduced to such a mean 


estate, that the foxes had holes, and the birds of the air 
had nests, yet the Son of man had not where to lay his 
head ! All his life he was a man of sorrows, and ac- 
quainted with grief; yet his greatest sufferings were 


Who was at that time the Roman governor of Judea, 
under Tiberius, the emperor of Rome. His office was 
that of a procurator, whose business it was, not only to 
take an account of the tribute due to the emperor, and 
to order and dispose of the same to his advantage ; but, 
by means of the seditious and rebellious temper of the 
Jews, they were farther trusted with some of the supreme 
power amongst them ; a power of life and death, which 
was a signal instance of divine providence, and a clear 
proof of the predictions of the prophets, which had long 
before foretold that the Messiah should suffer after a 
manner that was not prescribed by the law of Moses : 
and this circumstance of -time is mentioned to confirm 
the truth of our Saviour's history. 

" And now behold a mysterious scene of wonders 
indeed ! The immaculate Lamb of God, who came to 
save the world from misery, under the greatest, most 
Amazing apprehensions of his approaching passion ! ' He 
began to be sorrowful,' saith St. Matthew ; ' To be sore 
amazed, and very heavy,' saith St. Mark. His soul was 
pressed with fear, horror, and dejection of mind; tor- 
mented with anxiety, and disquietude of spirit, which he 
expressed to his disciples in these sad words, ' My soul 
is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death !' See him retire 
to a solitary garden at a still melancholy hour of the 
night. Behold him prostrate on the ground, conflict- 
ing with the wrath of his Almighty Father. He per- 

56 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

fectly knew what God is, the severe purity of the Deity ; 

and was absolutely conformed to his will. 

" He knew the evil of sin, in its nature and con- 
sequences; the perfect justice, wisdom, and goodness 
of the divine laws. He understood the inexpressible 
misery man had brought upon himself by the violation 
of them,, and how intolerable it would be for man to 
sustain the vengeance of an angry God ; and perhaps 
he was moved with extreme concern and pity, when he 
foresaw that, notwithstanding all he had already done 
and was then about to suffer for his salvation, there 
would be so many that would obstinately perish ! He 
had a full prospect of all he had yet to undergo ; that 
the conflict was not yet over, but that the dregs of 
that bitter cup still remained ; that he must be forsaken 
of his Father in the midst of his torments, which made 
him thrice so earnestly repeat his petition, that if it were 
possible that cup might pass from him. But the full com- 
plement of his sufferings we may suppose to be, — he did 
at that time actually sustain the whole weight of that 
grief and sorrow which was due to the justice of God 
for the sins of the whole world. And this, we may 
believe, caused that inconceivable agony, when his sweat 
was as great drops of blood falling to the ground. 

" And though his torments were so inexpressibly 
great, yet the Son of Man must suffer many things. 
He must be betrayed by one disciple, denied by another, 
and forsaken by all. And as he had suffered in his soul, 
by the most intense grief and anguish, so he had to 
suffer in his body the greatest bitterness of corporeal 
pains, which the malice and rage of his enemies could 
inflict upon it. And now the Sovereign Lord and Judge 
of all men is haled before the tribunal of his sinful 


creatures; the pure and unspotted Son of God, who 
could do no wrong, neither could guile be found in his 
mouth, accused by his presumptuous slaves of no less 
a crime than blasphemy. And though the witnesses 
could by no means agree together, and he was so often 
declared innocent by Pilate, an infidel judge, yet still the 
rude and barbarous rabble, being instigated by the envy 
and malice of the chief priests and elders, persist in 
demanding that he should be condemned. 

" And when, in compliance with their usual custom 
of having a malefactor released at their feast, Pilate, 
in order to save him, proposed his release instead of 
Barabbas, who was a seditious murderer, yet they per- 
sisted in their fury, and preferred the murderer before 
the Prince of life and glory ; nor would they be satisfied 
till he 

was crucified; 

To which ignominious death the Romans commonly con- 
demned their greatest malefactors ; and it was accounted 
so vile and so shameful among them, that it was deemed 
a very high crime to put any freeman to death after 
such a dishonourable manner; and as the shame was 
great, so it was usually accompanied with many pre-, 
vious pains. They were first cruelly scourged, and then 
compelled to bear their cross on their bleeding wounds 
to the place of crucifixion ; all which the meek and 
patient Jesus underwent cheerfully for his love towards 
mankind. ' The ploughers ploughed on his back, and 
made long their furrows,' But there were other painful 
circumstances which attended and increased the suffer- 
ings of our Saviour. They had not only accused him of 
blasphemy, but of treason and sedition : ' We found this 
fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give 

58 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

tribute to Cfeesar, saying, that he himself was Christ, a 
King ;' which, as it moved Pilate to condemn him, so it 
moved the rude soldiers to insult him by their mock 
ensigns of royalty. ' They arrayed him in a purple robe, 
and put a reed in his hand, and they bowed the knee 
before him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews !' And that 
crown of thorns, which they platted and put on his head, 
not only expressed the scorn of his tormentors, but did, 
by the piercing of his sacred temples, cause exquisite 
pain. That blessed face, which angels rejoice to behold, 
they buffeted and spat upon ; nor was any circumstance 
of cruelty which their witty malice could suggest to tor- 
ment him omitted by those inhuman rebels, till, wearied 
with their own barbarity, and impatient of his living any 
longer, they put his own clothes on him again, and led 
him away to crucifixion. 

" And now let us, by faith, attend our Lord to his last 
scene of misery. Let us ascend with him to the top of 
Mount Calvary, and see with what cruel pleasure they 
nail his hands and feet to the infamous wood ; which 
having done, they raise him from the earth, the whole 
weight of his body being sustained by those four wounds. 

" But though the corporeal pains occasioned by the 
thorns, the scourging, by the piercing those nervous 
and most sensible parts of his most sacred body, were 
wrought up to an inexpressible degree of torture ; yet were 
they infinitely surpassed by the anguish of his soul when 
there was (but after what manner we cannot conceive, 
but it is certain that there was) a sensible withdrawing 
of the comfortable presence of the Deity, which caused 
that loud and impassioned exclamation, " My God, my 
God, why hast thou forsaken me \" And now it is fin- 
ished : the measure of his sufferings is completed ; and 
he, who could not die but by his own voluntary act of 


resigning life, gave up his pure and spotless soul into the 
hands of his Almighty Father. And though stupid man 
could look insensibly on the mysterious passion of his 
blessed Redeemer, yet nature could not so behold her 
dying Lord, but by strong commotions expressed her 

" The sun, as if ashamed and astonished at the bar- 
barous inhumanity and ingratitude of man, withdrew his 
influence ; nor would he display the brightness of his 
beams when the great Son of God lay under the eclipse 
of death. The foundations of the solid earth were shaken, 
the rocks rent, and the graves were opened; and the 
veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the 
bottom ; signifying that all, both Jews and Gentiles, have 
free admission into the holy of holies, into the haven of 
presence, through the blood of Jesus ; which extorted a 
confession of his divinity even from his enemies; for 
when the centurion and they that were with him, watch- 
ing Jesus, saw the earthquake and those things that were 
done, they feared greatly, saying, ' Truly, this was the 
Son of God.' 

" Now, though crucifixion does not involve neces- 
sarily in it certain death, but that if a person be taken 
from the cross he may live ; yet, since it is evident that 
the Messiah was to die, and that for that cause he was 
born and came into the world, that he might, by the 
grace of God, suffer death for every man, so we are 
bound to believe that he was truly 


That there was an actual, real separation of his soul 
and body. And for a confirmation of this article it 
is added, — 

60 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

and buried; 

And as his death was foretold, so likewise his burial was 
typified by the prophet Jonah ; for as he was three days 
and three nights in the belly of the whale, so was the 
Son of Man three days and three nights in the heart of 
the earth. And though by the Roman law those who 
were crucified were not allowed the favour of a grave, 
but were to remain on the cross, exposed to the fowls of 
the air and the beasts of the field ; yet it was in the 
power of the magistrate to permit a burial ; and the pro- 
vidence of God had so ordered it, that those very persons 
who had caused him to be crucified, should petition for 
his being taken down from the cross; for the law of 
Moses required, that ' if a man have committed a sin 
worthy of death, and thou hang him on a tree, his body 
shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt 
in any wise bury him that night.' And therefore they 
begged of Pilate that the body should be taken down 
from the cross ; and this was the first step towards our 
Saviour's burial. ' And when the even was come, because 
it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 
Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which 
also waited for the kingdom of God, came and went in 
boldly to Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And he 
gave the body unto Joseph ; and he brought fine linen 
and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepul- 
chre which was hewn out of a rock, wherein never man 
before was laid ; and rolled a stone to the door of the 
sepulchre, and departed.' 


"That our blessed Lord did actually descend into hell, 


seems very plain from St. Peter's exposition of that text 
in the Psalms, ' Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, 
neither shalt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption ;' 
when, having mentioned this passage, he thus explains 
it : — ' He (that is, David), seeing this before (namely 
the incarnation of the Son of God), spake of his resur- 
rection ; that his soul was not left in hell, neither did 
his flesh see corruption : : which is a clear proof that his 
soul did really descend into hell, after it was separated 
from his body. But though he underwent the condition 
of a sinner in this world, and suffered and died as a sin- 
ner ; yet being perfectly holy, and having, by virtue of 
the union of the Deity to his human nature, fully satis- 
fied the strictest demands of divine justice, we are not 
to suppose that he either did or could suffer the torments 
of the damned ; therefore, we may reasonably conclude 
that his descent into hell was not to suffer, but to triumph 
over principalities and powers; over the rulers of the 
kingdom of darkness, in their own sad regions of horror 
and despair : and for this reason, and in this sense, are 
we to understand his descent into hell. And as his soul 
was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption ; 
but having by his own almighty power loosed the pain 
of death, because it was impossible that he should be 
holden of it, — 


Friday, on which he suffered, and the first day of the 
week, on which he rose, being included in the number 
of the three days. And this first day of the week the 
apostles and primitive Christians have ever since ob- 
served as the Sabbath. 

" That as the Jews, who will not believe in any greater 
deliverance than that out of Egypt, still keep the seventh 

62 of mr. wesley's ancestors 

day, and the Turks Friday, in memory of Mohammed's 
flight from Mecca, whom they esteem a greater prophet 
than Christ or Moses ; so all Christians are distinguished 
from all the rest of the world by their observance of the 
first day, in commemoration of our Saviour's rising from 
the dead, and his finishing the great work of mari's re- 
demption on that day. 

" Thus we believe, that as Christ died for our sins, 
was buried, and rose again the third day according to 
the Scriptures ; so — 


" He had for forty days after his resurrection remained 
upon earth, during which time he appeared frequently 
to his disciples, ate and drank with them, showed them 
his hands and his feet, which visibly retained the marks 
of his crucifixion, to convince them that it was the same 
body which was nailed to the cross ; that it was the same 
Jesus which suffered for our offences that was raised 
for our justification ; and that by his so doing we might 
have a sure and certain hope of our own resurrection 
from the dead. And when he had spoken to his dis- 
ciples and blessed them, he parted from them and as- 
cended into the highest heaven, where he still remains, 



" God is a Spirit ; nor hath he any body, so cannot 
properly be said to have any parts, such as eyes, ears, 
hands, &c., as we see bodies have ; therefore we may 
suppose that the right hand of God signifies his exceed- 
ing great and infinite power and glory. 

" And Christ is said to sit down on the right hand of 
God in regard of that absolute power and dominion 


which he hath obtained in heaven, according as he told 
the Jews, — 'Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sit- 
ting on the right hand of power.' After all the labour 
and sorrow, the shame, and contempt, and torments he 
suffered in this world, he resteth above in a permanent 
state of endless glory and unspeakable felicity ; — and 


" All that shall be found alive at his coming, as well 
as those that have died since Adam, shall appear before 
the judgment-seat of Christ, to be by him judged ac- 
cording to what they have done on earth ; to be by him 
determined and sentenced, and finally disposed to their 
eternal condition. Those that have done well he shall 
receive into everlasting habitations, to remain for ever 
with him in eternal blessedness ; and those that have 
done evil he shall condemn to the kingdom of darkness, 
there to remain in insupportable misery for ever, with 
the devil and his angels. 

" And as we must thus profess to believe in God the 
Father, and in Jesus Christ his only Son, so we must 
every one truly and heartily say, — 


" That he is a Person, of a real and true subsistence, 
neither created nor begotten, but proceeding from the 
Father and the Son; true and eternal God, who is 
essentially holy himself, and the author of all holiness 
in us, by sanctifying our natures, illuminating our minds, 
rectifying our wills and affections ; who co-operateth 
with the word and sacraments, and whatever else is a 
mean of conveying grace into the soul. He it was that 
spoke by the prophets and apostles, and it is he who 

64 op mr. wesley's ancestors. 

leadeth us into all truth. He helpeth our infirmities, 
assures us of our adoption, and will be with 


to the end of the world. The catholic Church is com- 
posed of all congregations of men whatever, who hold 
the faith of Jesus Christ, and are obedient to his laws, 
wherein the pure word of God is preached, and the 
sacraments duly delivered by such ministers as are re- 
gularly consecrated and set apart for such ordinances, 
according to Christ's institution. And as this church is 

called holy in respect of its author, Jesus, 

end, glory of God, and salvation of souls, institution of 
the ministry, administration of the sacraments, preaching 
of the pure word of God ; and of the members of this 
church, who are renewed and sanctified by the Holy 
Spirit, and united to Christ, the supreme head and go- 
vernor of the church. 

" It is styled catholic, because it is not, like that of 
the Jews, confined to one place and people, but is dis- 
seminated through all nations, extendeth throughout all 
ages, even to the end of the world. And as there is but 
one head ; so the members, though many, are one body, 
united together by the same spirit, principally by the 
three great Christian virtues, faith, hope, and charity. 
For as we hold the same principles of faith, do all assent 
to the same truths once delivered to the saints ; so have 
we the same hopes and expectations of eternal life which 
are promised to all. And as our Lord gave the same 
mark of distinction to all his disciples, — ' By this shall 
all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one 
another ;' so this universal love which is diffused through- 
out the whole body of Christ is the union of charity ; 
and the same ministry, and the same orders in the church, 


make the unity of discipline. But since Christ hath 
appointed only one way to heaven ; so we are not to ex- 
pect salvation out of the church which is called catholic, 
in opposition to heretics and schismatics. And if an 
angel from heaven should preach any other doctrine 
than Christ and his apostles have taught, or appoint any 
other sacraments than Christ hath already instituted, let 
him be accursed. 

" And as the mystical union between Christ and the 
church, and the spiritual conjunction of the members 
with the head, is the fountain of that union and com- 
munion which the saints have with each other, as being 
all under the influence of the same head ; so death, 
which only separates bodies for a time, cannot dissolve 
the union of minds ; and therefore it is not only in rela- 
tion to the saints on earth, but including also those in 
heaven, we profess to hold 


Accordingly we believe that all saints, as well those 
on earth, as those in heaven, have communion with God 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; with the blessed 
angels, who not only join in devotion with the church 
triumphant above, but are likewise sent forth to minister 
to those who are the heirs of salvation while they remain 
in this world. And perhaps we do not consider as we 
ought to do, how much good we receive by the minis- 
tration of the holy angels ; nor are we sufficiently grate- 
ful to those guardian spirits that so often put by ill 
accidents, watch over us when we sleep, defending us 
from the assaults of evil men and evil angels. And if 
they are so mindful of our preservation in this world, we 
may suppose them much more concerned for our eternal 
happiness: 'There is joy among the angels in heaven 

66 op mr. wesley's ancestors. 

over one sinner that repenteth.' They are present in our 
public assemblies, where we in a more especial manner 
hold communion with them ; and it is there we join with 
all the company of the heavenly host in praising and 
admiring the supreme Being whom we jointly adore. 
What knowledge the saints in heaven have of things or 
persons in this world, we cannot determine; nor after 
what manner we hold communion with them, it is not at 
present easy to conceive. 

" That we are all members of the same mystical body, 
Christ, we are very sure ; and do all partake of the same 
vital influence from the same head, and so we are united 
together ; and though we are not actually possessed of 
the same happiness which they enjoy, yet we have the 
same Holy Spirit given unto us as an earnest of our eter- 
nal felicity with them hereafter. And though their faith 
is consummated by vision, and their hope by present 
possession, yet the bond of Christian charity still remains ; 
and as we have great joy and complacency in their feli- 
city, so no doubt they desire and pray for us. 

" With the saints on earth we hold communion by the 
word and sacraments, by praying with and for each 
other ; and in all acts of public or private worship we 
act upon the same principles and the same motives, 
having the same promises and hopes of 


Through Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Cove- 
nant, who gave his life a sacrifice by way of compensa- 
tion and satisfaction to divine justice, by which God 
became reconciled to man, and cancelled the obligation 
which every sinner lay under to suffer eternal punish- 
ment ; and he hath appointed in his church baptism for 
the first remission, and repentance for the constant for- 


giveness of all following trespasses. And now hare we 
confidence towards God, that not only our souls shall be 
freed from the guilt and punishment of sin by faith in 
Jesus ; but also our bodies may rest in hopes of 


That the same Almighty power which raised again our 
blessed Lord, after he had lain three days in the grave, 
shall again quicken our mortal bodies ; shall re-produce 
the same individual body that slept in the dust, and 
vitally unite it to the same soul which informed it while 
on earth. The hour is coming in which all that are in 
the grave shall hear his voice, and come forth ; ' they 
that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they 
that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation,' 
John v. 28, 29. ' And the sea gave up the dead that 
were in it, and death and hell (that is, the grave) de- 
livered up the dead that were in them,' Rev. xx. 13. 
There shall be a general rendezvous of every particular 
atom which composed the several bodies of men that 
ever lived in the world ; and each shall be restored to its 
proper owner, so as to make the same numerical body, 
the same flesh and blood, &c, which was dissolved at 
death. And though the bodies of saints shall be glori- 
fied heavenly bodies, yet they shall be of the same con- 
sistence and figure, but only altered and changed in some 
properties. And though at the first view it may seem 
hard to conceive how those bodies which have suffered 
so many various transmutations, — have either been buried 
in the earth, devoured by beasts, consumed by fire, or 
swallowed up in the sea; have been dissolved into 
the smallest atoms, and those atoms perhaps scattered 
throughout the world ; have fructified the earth, fed the 
fishes, and by that means become the food of animals 

68 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

and other men, and a part of their nourishment, till at 
last the same particles of matter belong to several bodies: 
— how, I say, the same numerical atoms should at last 
rally and meet again, and be restored to the first owner, 
make up again the same first body, which so long since 
was consumed, may seem difficult, if not altogether im- 
possible, to determine. 

" But since God hath declared that he will raise the 
dead, we have no manner of reason to question whether 
he can do it, since omnipotence knows no difficulty; 
and that almighty power which first made us of nothing, 
out of no pre-existing matter, can easily distinguish, and 
perceive, and unmix from other bodies our scattered 
atoms, and can re-collect and unite them again, how far 
soever they may be dispersed asunder. He can observe 
the various changes they undergo in their passages 
through other bodies, and can so order it that they 
shall never become any part of their nourishment ; or if 
they should be adopted into other men, he can cause 
them to yield them up again before they die, that they 
may be restored to their right owners ; and having col- 
lected these particles, he can readily dispose 

them into the same order ; rebuild the same beauteous 
fabric, consisting of the same flesh and bones, nerves, 
veins, blood, &c, and all the several parts it had before 
its dissolution ; and by reuniting it to the same soul, 
make the same living man. 

" But though the body shall be in substance the same 
after its resurrection as it was before its death; yet it 
shall greatly differ in its qualities. ' It was sown in cor- 
ruption, it shall be raised in incorruption ; it is sown in 
dishonour, it is raised in glory ; it is sown in weakness, 
it is raised in power ; it is sown a natural body, it is 
raised a spiritual body.' They shall not retain the same 


principles of corruption and mortality which they had 
before ; they shall never die. The bodies of the damned 
shall eternally remain in the most inconceivable torments; 
while those of the blessed shall meet the Lord in the air 
when he comes to judgment, and afterwards ascend with 
him into heaven, there to enjoy 


By everlasting life is not only meant that we shall die 
no more ; for in this sense the damned shall have ever- 
lasting life as well as the saints : they shall always have 
a being, though in intolerable torments ; which is infi- 
nitely worse than none at all. 

" But we are to understand by the life everlasting a 
full and perfect enjoyment of solid inexpressible joy and 
felicity. 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither 
hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, what 
God hath prepared for those that love him.' 

" The soul shall be perfectly sanctified, nor shall it be 
possible to sin any more. All its faculties shall be puri- 
fied and exalted : the understanding shall be filled with 
the beatific vision of the adorable Trinity ; shall be illu- 
minated, enlarged, and eternally employed and satisfied 
in the contemplation of the sublimest truths. Here we 
see as in a glass, — have dark and imperfect perceptions 
of God ; but there we shall behold him as he is, shall 
know as we are known. Not that we shall fully com- 
prehend the divine nature, as he doth ours ; that is im- 
possible, for he is infinite and incomprehensible, and 
we, though in heaven, shall be finite still ; but our ap- 
prehension of his being and perfections shall be clear, 
just, and true. We shall see him as he is ; shall never be 
troubled with misapprehensions or false conceptions of 
him more. Those dark and mysterious methods of pro- 

70 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

vidence wKich here puzzle and confound the wisest 
heads to reconcile them with his justice and goodness, 
shall be there unriddled in a moment; and we shall 
clearly perceive that all the evils which befall good men 
in this life were the corrections of a merciful Father ; 
that the furnace of affliction, which now seems so hot 
and terrible to nature, had nothing more than a lambent 
flame, which was not designed to consume us, but only 
to purge away our dross, to purify and prepare the mind 
for its abode among those blessed ones that passed 
through the same trials before us into the celestial para- 
dise. And we shall for ever adore and praise that infi- 
nite power and goodness which safely conducted the 
soul through the rough waves of this tempestuous ocean 
to the calm haven of peace and everlasting tranquillity. 
Nor shall we have the same sentiments there which we 
had here ; but shall clearly discern that our afflictions 
here were our choicest mercies. Our wills shall no 
longer be averse from God's, but shall be for ever lost in 
that of our blessed Creator's. No conflicts with unruly 
passions, no pain or misery, shall ever find admittance 
into that heavenly kingdom. 

" God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes ; and 
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor cry- 
ing ; neither shall there be any more pain ; for the former 
things are passed away. Then we shall hunger no more, 
neither thirst any more ; neither shall the sun light upon 
us, nor any heat ; for the Lamb, who is in the midst of 
the throne, shall feed us, and shall lead us unto living 
fountains of water. Far be from us to think that the 
grace of God can be purchased with anything less pre- 
cious than the blood of Jesus ; but if it could, who that 
has the lowest degree of faith would not part with all 
things in this world to obtain that love for our dear Re- 


deemer, "which we so long for, and sigh after ? Here we 
cannot watch one hour with Jesus, without weariness, 
failure of spirits, dejection of mind, worldly regards, 
which damp our devotions, and pollute the purity of our 

" What Christian here does not often feel and bewail 
the weight of corrupt nature, the many infirmities 
which molest us in our way to glory ? And how diffi- 
cult is it to practise as we ought that great duty of self- 
denial ; to take up our cross, and follow the Captain of 
our salvation without ever repining or murmuring ! If 
shame or confusion could enter those blessed mansions, 
how would our souls be ashamed and confounded at the 
review of our imperfect services, when we see them 
crowned with such an unproportionable reward ! How 
shall we blush to behold that exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory, that is conferred upon us for that little, 
or rather nothing, which we have done or suffered for 
our Lord ! That God who gave us being, that preserved 
us, that fed and clothed us in our passage through the 
world ; and, what is infinitely more, that gave his only 
Son to die for us; and has by his grace purified and 
conducted us safe to his glory. 

" Oh, blessed grace ! mysterious love ! how shall we 
then adore and praise what we cannot here apprehend 
aright ! How will love and joy work in the soul ! But 
I cannot express it, I cannot conceive it. 

" I have purposely omitted many arguments for the 
being of Godj the divine authority of Scripture, the 
truth of revealed religion, or future judgment. The last 
article I have left very imperfect, because I intend to 
write on all these subjects for the use of my children 
when I have more leisure. I shall only add a few words 
to prepare your mind for the second part of my Dis- 

72 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

course — Obedience to the laws of God, which I shall 
quickly send you. 

" As the defilement of our natures is the source and 
original of all our actual iniquities and transgressions of 
the laws of God ; so the first regular step we can take 
towards amendment is to he deeply sensible of, grieved, 
and humbled for our original sin. And though (I be- 
lieve) the damning guilt of that sin is washed away by 
baptism, by those who die before they are capable of 
known and actual transgressions ; yet experience shows 
us that the power of it does still survive in such as attain 
to riper years ; and this is what the apostle complains of 
in Romans vii. 

" This is the carnal nature ; that law in our members 
which wars against the law of the mind, and brings into 
captivity to the law of sin. 

" And when the work of conversion or regeneration 
is begun by the Holy Spirit, yet still corrupt nature 
maintains a conflict with divine grace; nor shall this 
enemy be entirely conquered, till death shall be swal- 
lowed up of victory ; till this mortal shall have put on 

" I cannot tell whether you have ever seriously con- 
sidered the lost and miserable condition you are in by 
nature. If you have not, it is high time to begin to do it ; 
and I shall earnestly beseech the Almighty to enlighten 
your mind, to renew and sanctify you by his Holy Spirit, 
that you may be his child by adoption here, and an heir 
of his blessed kingdom hereafter ! 

"S. W" 

"Epworth, Jan. 13, 1709-10." 

I believe this exposition of the creed to be entirely 
original; and that it contains many fine passages and 


just definitions, every careful reader will at once discern. 
The introduction is excellent, as is also what she says 
on Almighty — Christ — Suffered under Pontius Pilate — 
Crucified — Catholic Church — Communion of Saints — 
Resurrection — and the Life everlasting. Of our Lord's 
descent into hell she speaks as commentators in general 
do.* On the doctrine of forgiveness of sins she will he 
found less satisfactory than on most other points ; she 
was much hetter acquainted with this doctrine after- 

Under the article Holy Ghost she not only shows that 
it is by his influence that the soul is enlightened, and the 
heart purified, and that his continual co-operation with 
the word and sacraments is necessary in order to make 
them effectual ; but she also hints at that doctrine which 
her sons preached with such great unction and success, 
and which is a standard article in the creed of every 
Methodist, viz., The doctrine of the witness of the Spirit 
in the souls of genuine believers. Her words are strong 
and pointed : " It is he that leadeth us into all truth. 
He helpeth our infirmities, assures us of our adoption, 
and will be with the Holy Catholic Church to the end 
of the world." 

Where she touches upon them, she does not make the 

* Mrs. Wesley does not appear to have been of the opinion of 
her husband on this subject, as appears from a note in his Life 
of Christ, ed. 1693, p. 346, where he observes, "Many of our 
divines have thought Christ did actually descend into hell, though 
now I think most are of another mind, and believe with greater 
probability, that only a descent into the grave, or the state of the 
dead, which Hades signifies, was thereby intended." See also his 
views more at large in the Athenian Oracle, vol. iv., p. 390. — 


74 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

necessary distinction between justification and sanctifi- 
cation, but in effect confounds tbem, as did most of |he 
writers in that and the preceding age. Nor have I met 
with the proper definition of each, and its description as 
a separate independent work, but in the Writings of Mr. 
John Wesley and the Methodists. Justification, as im- 
plying an act of God's infinite mercy, blotting out the 
guilt of sin on account of the sacrificial offering of Jesus 
Christ ; and sanctification, as implying the purification of 
the heart by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, must 
necessarily be distinct ; and in no case does the pardon 
of guilt necessarily imply the total, nor indeed partial, 
destruction of the nature and in-being of sin. 

From the conclusion of this exposition we find Mrs. 
Wesley adopting an article not in the creed itself, but 
which is in most people's creeds at present, viz., that 
" inward sin will not be destroyed till death." A more 
popular and a more uncomfortable article never entered 
into the composition of any creeds The Methodists 
believe and teach, that by the power of God sin may be 
destroyed in a moment ; and there is no need of death 
to save from sin, when the blood of Jesus Christ our 
Lord cleanseth from all unrighteousness. Since the 
whole salvation of man comes through the blood of the 
cross, there can be no necessity to wait till death se- 
parates soul and body, to have sin separated from the 
soul. It is the duty of every man, at all times, " per- 
fectly to love God, and worthily to magnify his name ;" 
but this can never be done till the very thoughts of the 
heart are cleansed by the inspiration of God's Holy 
Spirit. God, therefore, who has made it our duty thus 
to love and magnify him, is every moment willing to 
confer on the justified soul that grace by which alone it 
can thus love and magnify him. There is not one text 


in the Bible, fairly and honestly understood, that says 
we cannot be cleansed from all sin till we come to die ; 
and there is not one promise in the Bible that we shall 
be made holy in the article of death. But this is not 
the place to discuss doctrines ; yet I thought it necessary 
to make a few remarks on the preceding articles, lest any 
should suppose that all the sentiments in this (in the 
main) excellent exposition of the creed were those of the 
Methodist body. In this respect also Mrs. Wesley saw 
clearer before she died. 

In the conclusion, she promises her daughter a second 
part, on obedience to the laws of God, that a right faith 
might be accompanied with a suitable holy practice. 
This part I have not seen ; but it was in part accom- 
plished, as would appear from a MS. in Mrs. Wesley's 
hand-writing, said to be possessed by Mr. Moore, con- 
sisting of 60 quarto pages, with this title, " A Religious 
Conference, &c, written for the use of my children, 
1711-12." Endorsed by Mr. John Wesley, "My 
Mother's Conference with her Daughter." I suppose 
her meditations and reflections contained the heads of 
it. Dr. Whitehead has preserved some of these in his 
Life of Mr. Wesley. I have several others in her own 
hand-writing, in my own collection, which I shall insert 
as the only substitute for the second part above promised. 

Though Mrs. Wesley had always lived a strictly reli- 
gious life, fearing God, and, according to her age and 
light, working righteousness, yet as she found family 
cares accumulating, she found also the necessity of more 
grace to enable her to act her part well in the new and 
trying relations of wife and mother. When_ghe jvfts 
thirty years rf age, or about the year 1700^ she formed 
the resolution to spend an hour morning and evening in 
private retirement and devotion. In this she acted from 

e 2 

76 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

a deep sense both of its propriety and necessity, and 
was ever after faithful to her engagement; suffering 
nothing to break in on those consecrated hours, but 
what arose from absolute necessity, and was therefore 

Those who imagine they can encounter the cares of 
life with just the same measure of grace which was 
sufficient for them in a single state will find themselves 
greatly mistaken. For to every situation in life peculiar 
and suitable grace is requisite. Most newly married 
people, even among those who are religious, think 
nothing of this. Hence it is often found that the newly 
married pair soon decline in the divine life ; and instead 
of getting forward, either go halting in the heavenly road, 
or turn back to the world. Mrs. Wesley was fully 
aware of this, and provided timely against the evil. 

Perhaps the reader, if personally concerned, will also 
lay the subject to heart. 

From Mrs. Wesley's private papers I find that not 
only morning and evening, but noondav, had its time of 
private devotion. In her retirement, when the world 
and worldly cares were shut out, and her mind was at 
full liberty to converse with itself and with its Maker, 
she thought deeply on many subjects connected with 
her spiritual profiting, and often wrote down her thoughts. 
These, in several cases, she digested into discourses and 
letters for the benefit of her family. I shall make no 
apology for laying before the reader several examples 
taken from her own manual. In the original there are 
no dates. 


" Such a time devoted. Whenever company or bu- 
siness inclines you to quit your retirement, and either to 


omit or cursorily perform accustomed exercises ; and 
you, instead of resisting, comply with such inclinations, 
you may observe that you are always guilty of some sin 
or error, that upon reflection gives you more pain than 
the profit or pleasure gave you satisfaction. Therefore, 
make it your care to conquer your inclination to any 
company at such times ; nor let any trivial business 
divert you ; for no business, unless it cannot be laid 
aside or suspended without sin, can be of equal, much 
less of greater, importance, than caring for the soul." 


" That man who will readily believe an ill report of 
you never was, or at least is not now, your friend. Se- 
neca, a heathen, could say, 'In some cases I will not 
believe a man against himself. I will give him, however, 
time to recollect himself: nay, sometimes, I will allow 
him counsel too.' But Christians, bad Christians, are 
rarely so candid. He is a friend indeed who is proof 
against calumny ; but he is a rare Christian that will not 
believe a man against himself. 

" ' This is eternal life to know thee, the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' But what is it 
to know God ? Or, what is that knowledge of God on 
which eternal life depends ?" 


" What can human reason do, or how far can the light 
of reason direct us to find out the knowledge of the Most 
High ? From the primordials of the universe we collect 
that there is one Supreme, eternal, consequently self- 
existent, Being, who gave being to all things ; since to 
act presupposes existence ; for nothing can act before it 
be. That this Being must possess, by way of eminence, 

e 3 

78 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

all the perfections we discern in the creatures, reason 
tells us ; for nothing can impart that to another, which 
it has not to impart." 


" And as creation demonstrates omnipotence ; so that 
infers wisdom, justice, truth, purity, goodness, &c. For 
all these perfections are intellectual powers ; and were 
God deficient in one, he could»not he omnipotent. That 
he is a Spirit unhodied, undetermined, immense, filling 
heaven and earth, all the imaginary spaces heyond 
them ; most simple (pure), uncompounded, and abso- 
lutely separated and free from whatever pollution a spirit 
is capable of being defiled with ; immutable, incapable 
of change or alteration for the better or worse ; perfectly 
free, knowing no superior, no equal, that may impel, 
allure, or persuade him, but acting always spontaneously 
according to the counsel of his own will, — we may dis- 
cover by the light of nature." 


"This is to know God as a man, as a reasonable 
creature ; but this is not that knowledge that leadeth us 
to eternal life. That is a knowledge of another kind ; 
the one we attain in a scientifical method, by a long 
train of arguments, for which the bulk of mankind want 
either capacity or leisure ; the other, by frequent and 
fervent application to God in prayer. The one is an 
effect of reason assisted by human learning, peculiar to a 
few of more noble and refined sense; God perceived, 
known to the understanding as the creator, preserver, and 
governor of the universe. The other is reason acting by 
the influence and direction of the Holy Spirit ; God 
known to the heart, the will, and the affections, not merely 


as the author of our being, but as he is exhibited to us 
under the character of the healer and repairer of the 
lapse and misery of human nature; — a Saviour, him 
whom our soul loveth." 


" To know God only as a philosopher ; to have the 
most sublime and curious speculations concerning his 
essence, his attributes, his providence; to be able to 
demonstrate his being from all or any of the works of 
nature ; and to discourse with the greatest elegancy and 
propriety of words, of his existence or operations, will 
avail us nothing, unless at the same time we know him 
experimentally ; unless the heart perceive and know him 
to be its supreme good, its only happiness ; unless the 
soul feel and acknowledge that she can find no repose, 
no peace, no joy, but in loving and being beloved by 
him ; and does accordingly rest in him as the centre of 
her being, the fountain of her pleasure, the origin of all 
virtue and goodness, her light, her life, her strength, her 
all ; every thing she wants or wishes in this world, and 
for ever ! In a word, her Lord, her God ! 

" Thus, let me ever know thee, O God ! I do not 
despise nor neglect the light of reason, nor that know- 
ledge of thee which by her conduct may be collected 
from this goodly system of created beings ; but this 
speculative knowledge is not the knowledge I want and 
wish for." 


"It is very likely that your humour last night was 
rather the effect of fancy and passion than of a clear 
sound judgment. If otherwise, why did you feel un- 
easiness at another person being out of humour ? Was 

80 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

it not pride made you resent contradiction ? or from 
what other principle could that reluctance flow, which 
you felt in oheying a trivial command, which perhaps 
might proceed from peevishness; yet the matter being 
indifferent, obedience was unquestionably your duty. A 
wise person ought seldom, or indeed never when authority 
is not disputed or contemned, do acts of power, because 
they are shocking to human nature ; which, if not for- 
tified and strengthened by religion, is apt in such cases 
to throw off all subjection, and rebel against even lawful 
government. But though you should meet with high 
instances, which the pride of man will throw in your 
way ; yet take care not to swerve from your duty. Look 
upon every such act as a call of Divine Providence, to 
exercise the virtues of meekness and humility. 

" When you can bear severe reflections, unjust cen- 
sures, contemptuous words, and unreasonable actions, 
without perturbation, without rendering evil for evil ; 
but with an equal temper can clearly discern and cheer- 
fully do your duty ; you may hope that God hath given 
you some degree of humility and resignation." 


" The philosophy of the whole world hath not sufficient 
force to conquer the propensions of corrupt nature. Ap- 
petites and passions will bear sway, maugre all our fine 
speculations ; till our minds are enlightened by some 
higher principle, by virtue of which light it discerns the 
moral turpitude of those things in which before it placed 
its supreme happiness, and the beauty of that virtue and 
holiness that it was accustomed to despise." 


" You commit your soul morning and evening to Jesus 


Christ, as lie is the Saviour of the world ; then, observe 
what he saith unto you, resolutely obey his precepts, and 
endeavour to follow his example in those things wherein 
he is exhibited to us as a pattern for our imitation. 
No circumstances or time of life can occur but you may 
find something either spoken by our Lord himself, or by 
his Spirit in the prophets or apostles, that will direct 
your conduct, if you are but faithful to God and your 
own soul." 


" Two great obstacles in the way of Christian perfec- 
tion : the first . What says our Lord by his 

apostle St John ? " Love not the world, nor the things 
that are in the world ; if any man love the world, the 
love of the Father is not in him." That man will as 
certainly be damned whose affections are fixed on sen- 
sual pleasures, riches, or honours, though he never enjoy 
any, or a very inconsiderable proportion of them, as he 
that, having them all in his power, indulges himself in 
the satisfaction of his most criminal desires. For 'tis the 
heart God requires ; and he that suffers his heart (his 
affection) to centre on anything but God, be the object 
of his passion innocent or otherwise, does actually make 
that thing his god, and in so doing forfeits his title and 
pretensions to eternal happiness." 


" Another great impediment is deep adversity ; which 
often affects the mind too much, and disposes to anxious, 
doubtful, and unbelieving thoughts. Though there be 
no direct murmurings, no repinings at the prosperity of 
others, no harsh reflections on providence, but a constant 
acknowledgment of the justice and goodness of God ; 

82 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

that he punishes less than our iniquities deserve, and 
does always in the midst of judgment remember mercy ; 
yet if you think severely or unjustly of men ; if you are 
too much dejected, or disposed to peevishness, covetous - 
ness, or negligence in affairs ; if you work too much or 
too little ; are presumptuous or desponding ; wholly omit 
to implore the divine blessing and assistance on honest 
prospects and endeavours ; or are too solicitous and ear- 
nest in prayer for external blessings ; if the thoughts of 
your circumstances invade your privacies, or disturb your 
rest ; if any little access of trouble have power to ruffle 
your temper, and indispose or distract your mind in youi 
addresses to Heaven, in reading, meditation, or any other 
spiritual exercise ; you are certainly in the power of the 
world, guilty of immoderate anxious care. 

" Then observe what your Lord saith by his apostle : 
'Be careful (anxiously) for nothing.' And what he 
saith himself, 'Therefore I say unto you, take no 
thought,' &c, and remember that he ranks cares of this 
life with surfeitings and drunkenness, which are mortal 
damning sins." 


' The great difficulty we find in restraining our appe- 
tites and passions from excess often arises from the 
liberties we take in indulging them in all those in- 
stances wherein there does not at first sight appear some 
moral evil. Occasions of sin frequently take their rise 
from lawful enjoyments ; and he that will always venture 
to go to the utmost bounds of what he may, will not fail 
to step beyond them sometimes ; j and then he uses his 
liberty for a cloak of his licentiousness. He that habi- 
tually knows and abhors the sin of intemperance, will 
not stay too long in the company of such as are intern- 


perate ;\ and because God is pleased to indulge us a 
glass""for refreshment, will therefore take it when he 
really needs none : it is odds but this man will transgress ; 
and though he should keep on his feet, and in his senses, 
yet he will perhaps raise more spirits than his reason can 
command ; will injure his health, his reputation or es- 
tate ; discompose his temper, violate his own peace, or 
that of his own family ; all which are evils which ought 
carefully to be avoided. 

" It holds the same in all other irregular appetites or 
passions; and there may be the same temptations in 
other instances from whence occasions of sin may arise ; 
therefore be sure to keep a strict guard, and observe well 
lest you use lawful pleasures unlawfully. 'Fly from 
occasions of evil !' 


" The Christian religion is of so complicated a nature, 
that unless we give up ourselves entirely to its discipline, 
we cannot stedfastly adhere to any of its precepts. All 
virtues are closely bound together ; and break but one 
link of the golden chain, you spoil the whole contexture. 
As vices are often made necessary supports to each other ; 
so virtues do mutually strengthen and assist virtues. 
Thus temperance and chastity, fortitude and truth, hu- 
mility and patience, divine charity and charity towards 
man ; all virtues, of what denomination soever, recipro- 
cally cherish and invigorate one another." 


" Philosophy and morality are not sufficient to restrain 
us from those sins that our constitution of body, cir- 
cumstances of life, or evil custom strongly dispose us to. 
Nature and appetite will be too hard for their precepts, 

84 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

unless a man be determined by a law within himself. 
They may teach him caution, and give check to his 
vicious inclinations in public, but will never carry him 
to an inward and universal purity. This is only to be 
effected by the power of religion, which will direct us to 
a serious application to God in fervent prayer. Upon 
which we shall feel a disengagement from the impres- 
sions sensual objects were wont to make on our minds, 
and an inward strength of disposition to resist them. 

"Good men who felt, upon their frequent applica- 
tions to God in prayer, a freedom from those ill impres- 
sions that formerly subdued them, an inward love to 
virtue and true goodness, an easiness and delight in all 
the parts of holiness, which was fed and cherished in 
them by a seriousness in prayer, and did languish as that 
went off, had as real a perception of an inward strength 
in their minds, that did rise and fall with true devotion, 
as they perceived the strength of their bodies increased 
or abated according as they had or wanted good nourish- 

" This replied to Lord R 's objections against 

answers of prayer, which he supposes a fancy, and an 
effect of a heat in nature ; that it had effect only by 
diverting the thoughts." 


" The mind of man is naturally so corrupted, and all 
the powers thereof so weakened, that we cannot possibly 
aspire vigorously towards God, or have any clear percep- 
tion of spiritual things, without his assistance. Nothing 
less than the same almighty power that raised Jesus 
Christ from the dead can raise our souls from the death 
of sin to a life of holiness. To know God experiment- 
ally is altogether supernatural, and what we can never 


attain to but by the merits and intercession of Jesus 
Christ. By virtue of what he has done and suffered, 
and is now doing in heaven for us, we obtain the Holy 
Spirit, who is the best instructor, the most powerful 
teacher, we can possibly have ; without whose agency 
all other means of grace would be ineffectual. How 
evidently does the Holy Spirit concur with the means of 
grace ! And how certainly does he assist and strengthen 
the soul, if it be but sincere and hearty in its endeavours 
to avoid any evil or perform any good ! To have a good 
desire, a fervent aspiration towards God, shall not pass 

" I have found, by long experience, that it is of great 
use to accustom oneself to enter into solemn engage- 
ments with God against any particular sin ; but then I 
would have them never made for a longer time than from 
morning till night, and from night till morning ; that so 
the impression they make on the mind may be always 
fresh and lively. This was many years tried with good 

success in the case of . Glory be to thee, O 



" Give God the praise for any well-spent day. But I 
am yet unsatisfied, because I do not enjoy enough of 
God. I apprehend myself at too great a distance from 
him ; I would have my soul more closely united to him 
by faith and love. I can appeal to his omniscience, that 
I would love him above all things. He that made me 
knows my desires, my expectations. My joys all centre 
in him, and that it is he himself that I desire ; it is his 
favour, it is his acceptance, the communications of his 
grace, that I earnestly wish for more than anything in 
the world ; and that I have no relish or delight in any 

86 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

thing when, under apprehensions of his displeasure. I 
rejoice in his essential glory and blessedness ; I rejoice 
in my relation to him, that he is my Father, my Lord, 
and my God. I rejoice that he has power over me, and 
desire to live in subjection to him ; that he condescends 
to punish me when I transgress his laws, as a father 
chasteneth the son whom he loveth. I thank him that 
he has brought me so far ; and will beware of despairing 
of his mercy for the time which is yet to come, but will 
give God the glory of his free grace." 


" It is too common with me, upon receiving any light, 
or new supply of grace, to think, Now I have gained my 
point, and may say, ' Soul, take thine ease ;' by which 
means I think not of going any farther, or else fall into 
dejection of spirit, upon a groundless fear that I shall 
soon lose what I have gained, and in a little time be 
never the better for it. Both these are sins. The first 
proceeds from immoderate love of present ease and spi- 
ritual sloth; the other, from want of faith in the all- 
sufficiency of my Saviour. 

" We must never take up our rest on this side of 
heaven, nor think we have enough of God, till we are 
perfectly renewed and sanctified in body, soul, and spirit ; 
till we are admitted into that blessed region of pure and 
happy spirits, where we shall enjoy the beatific vision 
according to the measure of our capacities ! Nor must 
we, out of a pretended humility, because we are un- 
worthy of the least mercy, dare to dispute or question 
the sufficiency of the merits of Jesus Christ. It was 
impossible for God incarnate to undertake more than he 
was able to perform." 



" Though man is born to trouble, yet I believe there 
is scarce a man to be found upon earth, but, take the 
whole course of his life, hath more mercies than afflic- 
tions, and much more pleasure than pain. I am sure it 
has been so in my case. I hare many years suffered 
much pain, and great bodily infirmities; but I have 
likewise enjoyed great intervals of rest and ease. And 
those very sufferings have, by the blessing of God, been 
of excellent use, and proved the most proper means of 
reclaiming me from a vain and sinful conversation ; in- 
somuch that I cannot say, I had better have been with- 
out this affliction, this disease, this loss, want, contempt, 
or reproach. All my sufferings, by the admirable 
management of omnipotent goodness, have concurred to 
promote my spiritual and eternal good. And if I have 
not reaped that advantage by them which I might have 
done, it is merely owing to the perverseness of my own 
will, and frequent lapses into present things, and un- 
faithfulness to the good Spirit of God ; who, notwith- 
standing all my prevarications, all the stupid opposition 
I have made, has never totally abandoned me. Glory 
be to Thee, OLord!" 


" If to esteem and have the highest reverence for 
thee ; if constantly and sincerely to acknowledge thee 
the Supreme, the only desirable good, be to love thee ; — 
I do love thee ! 

" If comparatively to despise and undervalue all the 
world contains, which is esteemed great, fair, or good ; 
if earnestly and constantly to desire thee, thy favour, 
thy acceptance, thyself, rather than any or all things 
thou hast created, be to love thee ; — I do love thee ! 

88 of me. wesley's ancestors. 

" If to rejoice in thy essential majesty and glory ; if 
to feel a vital joy overspread and cheer the heart at each 
perception of thy blessedness, at every thought that 
thou art God, and that all things are in thy power; 
that there is none superior or equal to thee ; be to love 
thee — I do love thee." 

In these reflections and meditations the reader will 
see something of the mind, the spirit, the heart, and 
the piety of Mrs. Susanna Wesley. 

In another of her meditations, she mentions the fol- 
lowing among the many mercies which God had bestowed 
upon her. 

" Born in a Christian country ; early initiated and 
instructed in the first principles of the Christian religion ; 
good example in parents, and in several of the family ; 
good books and ingenious conversation ; preserved from 
ill accidents, once from violent death ; married to a 
religious, orthodox man ; by him first drawn off from the 
Socinian heresy, and afterwards confirmed and strength- 
ened by B. B " Probably Bishop Bull.* 

When Mr. Wesley was from home, Mrs. Wesley felt 
it her duty to keep up the worship of God in her own 
house. She not only prayed for, but with, her family. 
At such times she took the spiritual direction and care 
of the children and servants on herself; and sometimes 
even the neighbours shared the benefit of her instruc- 
tions. This in one case led to consequences little ex- 

* Query, Does it not rather refer to her sister, who resided at 
Harwich; from whom we find several letters, signed "B. B.," in 
Dunton's " Life and Errors, " p. 83 ?— Editor. 


pected, which form a remarkable trait in the character of 
this extraordinary and excellent woman. The account 
was first published by Mr. John Wesley, who remarks 
that " his mother, as well as her father and grandfather, 
her husband, and her three sons, had been in her measure 
a preacher of righteousness." The whole account, as 
transcribed by Dr. Whitehead from the original letters, I 
shall give below. 

Her husband sometimes attended the sittings of con- 
vocation ; and on these occasions was obliged to reside 
in London for such a length of time as often to be in- 
jurious to his parish, and at an expense that was incon- 
venient to his family. From his own account we find 
that three years* attendance cost him £150; and -as a 
curate cost him from £30 to £40, and the rectory was 
worth but about fourscore, the family in such years must 
have been greatly distressed, as the whole proceeds.of 
the rectory must have been thus unnecessarily and un- 
profitably consumed. As there was no absolute necessity 
that Mr. W should attend those convocations, his doing 
it in such circumstances was far from being prudent, as 
it was the cause of much family embarrassment. About 
the end of 1711, or the beginning of 1712, Mr. W 
appears to have spent a considerable time in London on 
this business ; and the care of the parish devolved on a 
person of the name of Inman, the curate, who appears to 
have been but indifferently qualified for his charge. 

During her husband's absence, Mrs. Wesley felt it her 
duty, as has been observed, to pay more particular atten- 
tion to her children, especially on the Lord's day in the 
evening, as there was then no service in the afternoon at 
the church. She read prayers to them, and also a 
sermon, and conversed with them on religious and devo- 
tional subjects. Some neighbours happening to come 

90 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

in during these exercises, being permitted to stay, were 
so pleased and profited as to desire permission to come 
again. This was granted ; a good report of the meeting 
became general ; many requested leave to attend, and 
the house was soon filled, more than two hundred at 
last attending ; and many were obliged to go away for 
want of room. As she wished to do nothing without 
her husband's knowledge and approbation, she acquainted 
him -with their meeting, and the circumstances out of 
which it arose. While he approved of her zeal and 
good sense, he stated several objections to the conti- 
nuance of the meeting, which will be best seen in her 
answer, dated Ep worth, Feb. 6th, 1712, in which she 
says : — 

" I heartily thank you for dealing so plainly and faith- 
fully with me in a matter of no common concern. The 
main of your objections against our Sunday evening 
meetings are, first, that it will look particular ; secondly, 
my sex ; and lastly, your being at present in a public 
station and character. To all which I shall answer 

" As to its looking particular, I grant it does ; and so 
does almost everything that is serious, or that may any 
way advance the glory of God or the salvation of souls, 
if it be performed out of a pulpit, or in the way of 
common conversation ; because in our corrupt age the 
utmost care and diligence have been used to banish all 
discourse of God or spiritual concerns out of society, as 
if religion were never to appear out of the closet, and 
we were to be ashamed of nothing so much as of pro- 
fessing ourselves to be Christians. 

" To your second, I reply, that as I am a woman, so I 
am also mistress of a large family. And though the 


superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon 
you, as head of the family, and as their minister ; yet in 
your ahsence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave 
under my care as a talent committed to me, under a 
trust, by the great Lord of all the families of heaven and 
earth. And if I am unfaithful to him, or to you, in 
neglecting to improve these talents, how shall I answer 
unto him, when he shall command me to render an 
account of my stewardship ? 

"As these and other such like thoughts made me at 
first take a more than ordinary care of the souls of my 
children and servants ; so, knowing that our most holy 
religion requires a strict observation of the Lord's-day, 
and not thinking that we fully answered the end of the 
institution by only going to church, but that likewise we 
are obliged to fill up the intermediate spaces of that 
sacred time by other acts of piety and devotion; I 
thought it my duty to spend some part of the day in 
reading to and instructing my family, especially in your 
absence, when, having no afternoon's service, we have so 
much leisure for such exercises ; and such time I es- 
teemed spent in a way more acceptable to God, than if I 
had retired to my own private devotions, 

"This was the beginning of my present practice : other 
people coming in and joining with us was purely acci- 
dental. Our lad told his parents — they first desired to 
be admitted ; then others who heard of it begged leave 
also; so our company increased to about thirty, and 
seldom exceeded forty last winter ; and why it increased 
since, I leave you to judge after you have read what 

" Soon after you went to London, Emily found in your 
study the account of the Danish missionaries, which 
having never seen, I ordered her to read it to me. I 

92 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

was neve^ I think, more affected with anything than 
with the relation of their travels ; and was exceeding 
pleased with the nohle design they were engaged in. 
Their labours refreshed my soul beyond measure ; and I 
could not forbear spending good part of that evening in 
praising and adoring the divine goodness for inspiring 
those good men with such an ardent zeal for his glory, 
that they were willing to hazard their lives, and all that 
is esteemed dear to men in this world, to advance the 
honour of their master, Jesus. For several days I could 
think or speak of little else. At last it came into my 
mind, though I am not a man nor a minister of the 
gospel, and so cannot be employed in such a worthy 
employment as they were ; yet, if my heart were sin- 
cerely devoted to God, and if I were inspired with a 
true zeal for his glory, and did really desire the salvation 
of souls, I might do somewhat more than I do. I 
thought I might live in a more exemplary manner in 
some things; I might pray more for the people, and 
speak with more warmth to those with whom I have an 
opportunity of conversing. However, I resolved to 
begin with my own children ; and, accordingly, I pro- 
posed and observed the following method. I take such 
a proportion of time as I can best spare every night to 
discourse with each child by itself, on something that 
relates to its principal concerns. On Monday I talk 
with Molly ; on Tuesday, with Hetty ; Wednesday, with 
Nancy ; Thursday, with Jacky ; Friday, with Patty ; 
Saturday, with Charles; and with Emily and Sukey 
together, on Sunday. 

" With those few neighbours who then came to me I 
discoursed more freely and affectionately than before. I 
chose the best and most awakening sermons we had, and 
I spent more time with them in such exercises. Since 


this our company has increased every night, for I dare 
deny none that asks admittance. Last Sunday, I believe 
we had above 200, and yet many went away for want of 

" But I never durst positively presume to hope that 
God would make use of me as an instrument in doing 
good ; the farthest I ever durst go was, It may be : who 
can tell? With God all things are possible. I will 
resign myself to him : or, as Herbert better expresses it, 

Only since God doth often mate 
Of lowly matter for high uses meet, 

I throw me at his feet ; 
There will I lie until my Maker seek 
For some mean stuff, whereon to show his skill ; 

Then is my time. 

" And thus I rested, without passing any reflection on 
myself, or forming any judgment about the success or 
event of this undertaking. 

" Your third objection I leave to be answered by your 
own judgment. We meet not on any worldly design. 
We banish all temporal concerns from our society : none 
is suffered to mingle any discourse about them with our 
reading or singing : we keep close to the business of the 
day ; and as soon as it is over, they all go home. And 
where is the harm of this ? If I and my children went 
a visiting on Sunday nights, or if we admitted of imper- 
tinent visits, as too many do who think themselves good 
Christians, perhaps it would be thought no scandalous 
practice, though in truth it would be so. Therefore, why 
any should reflect upon you, let your station be what it 
will, because your wife endeavours to draw people to the 
church, and to restrain them by reading, and other per- 
suasions, from their profanation of God's most holy day, 
I cannot conceive. But if any should be so mad as to 

94 op mr. wesley's ancestors. 

# _ 

do it, I wish you would not regard it. For my part, I 

value no censure on this account. I have long since 
snook hands with the world, and I heartily wish I had 
never given them more reason to speak against me. 

" As for your proposal of letting some other person 
read. Alas ! you do not consider what a people these 
are. I do not think one man among them could read a 
sermon, without spelling a good part of it; and how 
would that edify the rest ? Nor has any of our family a 
voice strong enough to he heard hy such a numher of 

" But there is one thing about which I am much dis- 
satisfied ; that is, their being present at family prayers. 
I do not speak of any concern I am under, barely because 
so many are present ; for those who have the honour of 
speaking to the Great and Holy God, need not be 
ashamed to speak before the whole world ; but because 
of my sex. I doubt if it be proper for me to present 
the prayers of the people to God. 

"Last Sunday, I fain would have dismissed them 
before prayers ; but they begged so earnestly to stay, that 
I durst not deny them." 

How forcible are right words ! Who could overthrow 
or withstand this reasoning ? The people were perishing 
for lack of knowledge ; and it is most evident from the 
circumstances that a dispensation of the gospel was given 
to this eminent woman, to teach and instruct them in 
the absence of their legal pastor. She was faithful ; and 
the consequence was, a number of people were edified, 
and perhaps not a few reclaimed, that long ere this have 
welcomed her into everlasting habitations, and will be 
her crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus. 

Mr. Wesley felt the power and the wisdom by which 


she spoke, and cordially gave his approbation to her 
conduct : she went on her way rejoicing, and great good 
was done. But the worthless curate, Inman, and a few 
like himself, filled with envy, and perhaps even a worse 
principle, wrote to Mr. Wesley, highly complaining of 
these transactions, and stating that Mrs. Wesley had 
turned the parsonage-house into a conventicle, &c. ; that 
the church was likely to receive great scandal by these 
irregular proceedings ; and that they ought not to be 
tolerated any longer. Mr. Wesley was alarmed ; his 
high church principles rose up against his better judg- 
ment, and he wrote to his wife desiring her to discon- 
tinue the meetings. She received this high testimony of 
disapprobation with that firmness which belongs alone to 
conscious rectitude ; and returned an answer to her hus- 
band, which bears all the marks of her energetic mind, 
deep piety, ardent zeal, and submissive respect to the 
authority of her spouse. 

" Epworth, Feb. 25th, 1712. 

"Some days since I received a letter from you, 1 sup- 
pose, dated the 16th instant, which I made no great 
haste to answer, because I judged it necessary for both 
of us to take some time to consider before you determine 
in a matter of such great importance. 

"I shall not inquire how it was possible that you 
should be prevailed on, by the senseless clamours of two 
or three of the worst of your parish, to condemn what 
you so lately approved. But I shall tell you my thoughts 
in as few words as possible. I do not hear of more than 
three or four persons who are against our meeting, of 
whom Inman is the chief. He and Whitely, I believe, 
may call it a conventicle ; but we hear no outcry here, 
nor has any one said a word against it to me. And 

96 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

what does* their calling it a conventicle signify ? Does it 
alter the nature of the thing ? or do you think that what 
they say is a sufficient reason to forbear a thing that has 
already done much good, and by the blessing of God 
may do much more ? If its being called a conventicle, 
by those who know in their conscience they misrepre- 
sent it, did really make it one, what you say would be 
somewhat to the purpose ; but it is plain in fact that 
this one thing has brought more people to church, than 
ever anything did, in so short a time. We used not to 
have above twenty or twenty-five at evening service, 
whereas we have now between two and three hundred ; 
which are more than ever came before to hear Inman* 
in the morning. 

* The following account related of Inman, will give the reader 
an insight into his character as a divine. On one of Mr. Wesley's 
returns from the metropolis, a complaint was urged against his 
curate, " that he preached nothing to his congregation except the 
duty of paying their debts, and behaving well among their neigh- 
bours." The complainants added, " We think, sir, there is more 
in religion than this." Mr. Wesley replied, " There certainly is ; I 
will hear him myself." He accordingly sent for his curate, and 
told him, that he wished him to preach the next Lord's day, ob- 
serving, " You could, I suppose, prepare a sermon upon any text 
that I should give you." He replied, " By all means, sir." " Then," 
said Mr. Wesley, " prepare a sermon on that text, Heb. ii. 6 : 
' Without faith it is impossible to please God.' " When the time 
arrived, Mr. Wesley read the prayers, and the curate ascended the 
pulpit. He read the text with great solemnity, and thus began : — 
" It must be confessed, friends, that faith is a most excellent vir- 
tue ; and it produces other virtues also. In particular, it makes a 
man pay his debts as soon as he can." He went on in this way, 
enforcing the social duties for about a quarter of an hour, and then 
concluded. " So," said his son John, " my father saw it was a 
lost case." — Editor. 


" Besides the constant attendance on the public wor- 
ship of God, our meeting has wonderfully conciliated 
the minds of this people towards us, so that we now live 
in the greatest amity imaginable ; and what is still 
better, they are very much reformed in their behaviour 
on the Lord's day ; and those who used to be playing in 
the streets now come to hear a good sermon read, which 
is surely more acceptable to Almighty God. 

"Another reason for what I do is, that I have no 
other way of conversing with this people, and therefore 
have no other way of doing them good : but by this I 
have an opportunity of exercising the greatest and 
noblest charity, that is, charity to their souls. 

" Some families who seldom went to church, now go 
constantly ; and one person who had not been there for 
seven years, is now prevailed upon to go with the rest. 

" There are many other good consequences of this 
meeting which I have not time to mention. Now, I 
beseech you, weigh all these things in an impartial 
balance : on the one side, the honour of Almighty God, 
the doing much good to many souls, and the friendship 
of the best among whom we live ; on the other (if folly, 
impiety, and vanity may abide in the scale against so 
ponderous a weight), the senseless objections of a few 
scandalous persons, laughing at us, and censuring us as 
precise and hypocritical ; and when you have duly con- 
sidered all things, let me have your positive determina- 

" I need not tell you the consequences, if you deter- 
mine to put an end to our meeting. You may easily 
perceive what prejudice it may raise in the minds of 
these people against Inman especially, who has had so 
little wit as to speak publicly against it. I can now keep 
them to the church ; but if it be laid aside, I doubt 


98 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

they will never go to hear him more, at least those who 
come from the lower end of the town. But if this be 
continued till you return, which now will not he long, 
it may please God that their hearts may he so changed 
by that time, that they may love and delight in his 
public worship, so as never to neglect it more. 

" If you do, after all, think fit to dissolve this assem- 
bly, do not tell me that you desire me to do it, for that 
will not satisfy my conscience ; but send me your posi- 
tive command, in such full and express terms, as may 
absolve me from all guilt and punishment, for neglecting 
this opportunity of doing good, when you and I shall 
appear before the great and awful tribunal of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." 

Though I find no farther record of these transactions, 
yet I take it for granted that this letter was decisive, 
and Mrs. Wesley's meetings continued till her husband 
returned to Epworth. They would then be given up in 
course ; and when discontinued, it could be little cause 
of rejoicing to any serious mind; as it is most evident 
that God had done more in a few months by this irre- 
gular ministry than he had done by that of the rector 
and his curates for eighteen years before ! * 

It is worthy of remark that Mrs. Wesley terms the 
people that composed these meetings, our Society ; and 

* This may appear strong language, after the testimony given in 
favour of Mr. Samuel Wesley's faithful ministry. And yet it is 
countenanced by Mr. John Wesley, on his visit to Epworth, in 
June, 1742. " O let none," he exclaims, " think his labour of love 
is lost because the fruit does not immediately appear ! Near 1 forty 
years did my father labour here ; but he saw little fruit of all his 
labour." Works, Vol. L, pi 379. — Editor* 


the meetings were conducted much after the manner of 
the Methodists' Society Meetings at this day ; especially 
those of the Sabbath evenings ; when, after the preach- 
ing, the society, and often any other serious person, is 
permitted to stay to a second meeting, in which such 
exhortations are given relative to personal and family re- 
ligion, as could not with propriety be brought before a 
mixed congregation, where perhaps the bulk of the peo- 
ple are unawakened, and consequently incapable of pro- 
fiting by instructions relative to the life and power of 

This is not the first instance in which the seeds of 
that great work, since called Methodism, were sown in 
and by the original members of this remarkable family. 

For my own part, I should ever feel myself disposed 
to bow with profound respect to that rare dispensation 
01 providence and grace which should, in similar cir- 
cumstances, with as clear and distinct a call, raise up a 
woman of such talents and piety to labour in the gospel, 
where the people were perishing for lack of knowledge, 
and so snatch the brands from eternal burning. 

Who so prejudiced as not to see that God put no 
honour on Inman the curate, but chose Susanna Wes- 
ley to do the work of an evangelist? The abundance 
of gracious fruit which sprang from this seed proved that 
the Master-sower was Jesus, the Lord of the harvest. 
Lord, thou wilt send by whomsoever thou pleasest ; and 
wilt hide pride from man, in order to prove that the ex- 
cellency of the power is in thee ! 

By these very means all those persons who had been 
soured against Mr. Wesley for the part that he had taken 
in an unpopular election, now became the friends of his 
family ; so that, to use Mrs. Wesley's own words, they 
lived together in the greatest amity imaginable. 


100 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 


The good sense, piety, observation, and experience of 
Mrs. Wesley, qualified her to be a wise counsellor in 
almost every affair in life, and a sound spiritual director 
in most things that concerned the salvation of the soul. 
Her sons, while at Oxford, continued to profit by her 
advices and directions, as they had done while more im- 
mediately under her care. They sought and had, not 
only her advice and counsel, but also her approbation, in 
the little society they had formed at the university, and 
that moral strictness of life which they had adopted. 
While she excited them to proceed and persevere, she 
taught them prudence and caution. The following letter 
to her son John, at Oxford, some time after he had paid 
them a visit at Epworth, cannot be read by any person 
without profit : — 

"Epworth Oct. 25, 1732. 
" Dear Jacky, 
" I was glad to hear you got safe to Oxford ; and 
would have told you so sooner, had I been at liberty, from 
pain of body and other severer trials not convenient to 
mention. Let every one enjoy the present hour : age 
and successive troubles are sufiicient to convince any 
reasonable man that it is a much wiser and safer way to 
deprecate great afflictions, than to pray for them ; and 
that our Lord well knew what was in man when he 
directed us to pray, 'Lead us not into temptation.' I 
think heretic Clark, in an exposition on the Lord's 
Prayer, is more in the right than Castaniza, concerning 
temptations. His words are as follow : — ' We are en- 
couraged to glory in tribulation, and to count it all joy 
when we fall into diverse temptations, &c. Neverthe- 
less, it is to be carefully observed, that when the Scrip- 
ture speaks on this manner concerning rejoicing in 


temptations, it always considers them under this view, 
as being experienced, and already in great measure over- 
come. For otherwise, as to temptations in general, 
temptations unexperienced, of which we know the dan- 
ger but not the success, our Saviour teaches us to pray, 
4 Lead us not into temptation :' and again, ' Watch and 
pray, lest ye enter into temptation.' Our nature is frail ; 
our passions strong ; our wills biassed ; and our security, 
generally speaking, consists much more certainly in 
avoiding great temptations, than in conquering them. 
Wherefore we ought continually to pray that God would 
be pleased to order and direct things in this probation 
state, as not to suffer us to be tempted above what we 
are able ; but that he would with the temptation also 
make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it. 
Our Lord directed his disciples when they were perse- 
cuted in one city to flee into another ; and they who re- 
fuse to do it when it is in their power, lead themselves 
into temptation, and tempt God/" 

At this time both the brothers, John and Charles, 
were in a bad state of health, owing to excessive study, 
and extraordinary abstinence. They had consulted Dr. 
Huntington on the subject, and transmitted his opinion 
to their mother. To this she refers in the following part 
of the above letter : — 

" I don't know how you may have represented your 
case to Dr. Huntington ; I have had occasion to make 
some observation in consumptions, and am pretty certain 
that several symptoms of that distemper are beginning 
upon you, and that unless you take more care than you 
do, you will put the matter past dispute in a little time. 
But take your own way ; I have already given you up, as 

102 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

I have some before which once were very dear to me. 
Charles, tho' I believe not in a consumption, is in a fine 
state of health for a man of two or three-and-twenty, 
that can't eat a full meal, but he must presently throw 
it up again ! It is a great pity that folks should be no 
wiser, and that they can't fit the mean in a case where 
it is so obvious to view that none can mistake it that do 
not do it on purpose." 

They had also given their mother an account of their 
religious meetings, and of the society known afterwards 
by the name of Methodists ; and that it had from the 
beginning her cordial approbation will appear by the fol- 
lowing extract from the same letter : — 

" I heartily join with your small society in all their 
pious and charitable actions, which are intended for 
God's glory ; and am glad to hear that Mr. Clayton and 
Mr. Hall have met with desired success. May you still 
in such good works go on and prosper. Tho' absent 
in body, I am present with you in spirit ; and daily re- 
commend and commit you all to Divine Providence. 
You do well to wait on the bishop, because it is a point 
of prudence and civility ; tho' (if he be a good man) I 
cannot think it in the power of any one to prejudice 
him against you. 

" Your arguments against horse-races do certainly 
conclude against masquerades, balls, plays, operas, and 
all such light and vain diversions, which, whether the 
gay people of the world will own it or no, do strongly 
confirm and strengthen the lust of the flesh, the lust of 
the eye, and the pride of life ; all which we must re- 
nounce, or renounce our God and hope of eternal salva- 
tion. I will not say it is impossible for a person to have 


any sense of religion, who frequents those vile assem- 
blies : but I never, throughout the course of my long 
life, knew so much as one serious Christian that did ; 
nor can I see how a lover of God can have any relish 
for such vain amusements. 

" ' The Life of God in the Soul of Man,' is an excellent 
good book, and was an acquaintance of mine many years 
ago ; but I have unfortunately lost it. There are many 
good things in Castaniza; more in Baxter ; yet are 
neither without faults, which I overlook for the sake of 
their virtues. Nor can I say, of all the books of divinity 
I have read, which is the best ; one is best at one time, 
one at another, according to the temper and disposition 
of the mind. 

" Your father is in a very bad state of health ; he 
sleeps little, and eats less. He seems not to have any 
apprehension of his approaching exit ; but I fear he has 
but a short time to live. It is with much pain and 
difficulty that he performs divine service on the Lord's- 
day, which sometimes he is obliged to contract very 
much. Every body observes his decay but himself; and 
people really seem much concerned for him and his 

"The two girls, being uneasy in their present situations, 
do not apprehend the sad consequences which in all 
appearance must attend his death, so much as I think 
they ought to do ; for, as bad as they think their con- 
dition now, I doubt it will be far worse when his head 
is laid. Your sisters send their love to you and Charles; 
and my love and blessing to you both. Adieu." 

Letters from Mrs. Wesley to others of her children 
will be noticed in their proper places ; but there is one 
to a female friend, which for its piety and good sense it 

104 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

would be improper to omit, as well as the probability of 
its becoming useful to persons afflicted in body and de- 
pressed in spirit. 

" Wootton, Aug. 5, 1737- 
" Dear Madam, 
" To your goodness I am obliged for the kind present 
sent by Charles, and return many thanks, particularly to 
good Mrs. Norman. I heartily sympathize with the 
young lady in her affliction, and wish it was in my power 
to speak a word in season, that might alleviate the 
trouble of her mind, which has such an influence on the 
weakness of her body. I am not apprised of her par- 
ticular complaints, but am apt to believe that want of 
faith and a firm dependance on the merits of Christ is 
the cause of most, if not all, her sufferings. I am very 
well satisfied she doth not allow herself in wilful sin ; 
and, surely, to afflict herself for mere infirmities, argues 
weakness of faith in the merits of our Redeemer. We 
can never be totally freed from infirmity till we put off 
mortality ; and to be grieved at this, is just as if a man 
should afflict himself that he is a man, and not an angel. 
It is with relation to our manifold wants and weaknesses, 
and the discouragements and despondencies consequent 
thereupon, that the blessed Jesus hath undertaken to be 
our great high-priest, physician, advocate, and Saviour. 
His satisfaction related to the forfeiture of all the good 
we had in possession ; and his intercession is with re- 
spect to our great distance from God, and unworthiness 
to approach him. His deep compassion supposes our 
misery ; and his assistance, and the supplies of his grace, 
imply our wants, and the disadvantages we labour under. 
We are to be instructed, because we are ignorant ; and 
healed, because we are sick ; and disciplined, because so 


apt to wander and go astray ; and succoured and sup- 
ported, because we are so often tempted. We know 
there is but one living and true God, though revealed to 
us under three characters — that of Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit. In God the Father, we live, move, and have our 
natural being ; in God the Son, as Redeemer of mankind, 
we have our spiritual being since the fall ; and by the 
operation of his Holy Spirit the work of grace is begun 
and carried on in the soul ; and there is no other name 
given under heaven by which men can be saved, but 
that of the Lord Jesus. 

" And here, Madam, let me beseech you to join with 
me in admiring and adoring the infinite and incompre- 
hensible love of God to fallen man, which he hath been 
pleased to manifest to us in the redemption of the world 
by our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the great God, the 
God of the spirits of all flesh, the high and lofty One, 
that inhabiteth eternity, and created not angels and men 
because he wanted them ; for he is Being itself, and as 
such must necessarily be infinitely happy in the glorious 
perfections of his nature from everlasting to everlasting ; 
and as he did not create, so neither did he redeem, 
because he needed us ; but he loved us, because he loved 
us ; he would have mercy, because he would have mercy ; 
he would show compassion, because he would show com^ 
passion. There was nothing in man that could merit 
anything but wrath from the Almighty. We are in- 
finitely below his least regards ; therefore this astonishing 
condescension can be resolved into nothing but his own 
essential goodness. And shall we, after all, undervalue 
or neglect this great salvation ? Who should be so 
much concerned for our eternal happiness as ourselves ? 
And shall we exclude ourselves from an interest in the 
merits of the blessed Jesus by our unbelief? God 

106 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

forbid ! Bjit you will say, " We are great sinners." Very 
true ; but Cbrist came into the world to save sinners ; 
he had never died if man had never sinned. If we 
were not sinners we should have had no need of a Sa- 
viour ; but God commended his love towards us, in that 
while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. The 
greatest saints in heaven were once sinners upon earth ; 
and the same redeeming love and free grace that brought 
them to glory are sufficient to bring us also thither. I 
verily think one great reason why Christians are so often 
subject to despond is, that they look more to themselves 
than to their Saviour ; they would establish a righteous- 
ness of their own to rest on, without adverting enough 
to the sacrifice of Christ, by which alone we are justified 
before God. But I need not say more, considering to 
whom I am writing; only give me leave to add one 
request, which is, that you would commit your soul, in 
trust, to Jesus Christ, as God incarnate, in a full belief 
that he is able and willing to save you. Do this con- 
stantly, and I am sure he will never suffer you to perish. 

"I shall be very glad to hear often from you. I 
thank God, I am somewhat better in health than when I 
wrote last ; and I tell you because I know you will be 
pleased with it, that Mr. Hall and his wife are very good 
to me ; he behaves like a gentleman and a Christian, and 
my daughter with as much duty and tenderness as can 
be expressed ; so that on this account I am very easy. 
My humble service waits on your sister, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Norman. I heartily wish you all happiness, tem- 
poral, spiritual, and eternal. I earnestly recommend 
myself to all your prayers, who am, dear Madam, 
" Your obliged 

" and most obedient servant, 

" Susanna Wesley." 

"To Mrs. Alice Peard, Tiverton." 


Mr. Wesley, though he had lately sunk much, was 
not so near death as Mrs. Wesley dreaded in one of the 
preceding; letters. He lived about three years after the 
date of the one in which she complains of his illness. 

It will be necessary to introduce some other letters of 
Mrs. Wesley on the subject of the doctrines and conduct 
of her sons, John and Charles ; because the late Rev. 
Samuel Badcock, in a letter to Mr. John Nichols, dated 
South Moulton, Dec. 5, 1782, and published by Mr. N., 
first in No. XX. of the Bibliotheca Topographica Bri~ 
tannica, and afterwards in his Literary Anecdotes of the 
Eighteenth Century, vol. v., p. 217, &c, and since copied 
by others, speaking of Mrs. Wesley, says, "She lived 
long enough to. deplore the extravagances of her two 
sons, John and Charles. She considered them as under 
strong delusion to believe a lie; and states her objec- 
tions to their enthusiastic principles (particularly in the 
matter of assurance), with great strength of argument, 
in a correspondence with their brother Samuel." This 
calumny, for it is one, may be easily rebutted. Mr. 
John Wesley answers it thus, quoting the first para- 
graph about " deploring their extravagances," &c. " By 
vile misrepresentations she was deceived for a time ; but 
she no sooner heard them speak for themselves, than she 
was thoroughly convinced they were in no delusion, but 
spoke the words of truth and soberness. She afterwards 
lived with me several years, and died rejoicing and 
praising God." 

That what Mr. Wesley states here of his mother is 
true, I can prove by the most unexceptionable testimo- 
nies from under her own hand. Dr. Whitehead has 
treated the subject well. I shall give some extracts in 
his own words. 

108 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

" When, her two sons, Mr. John and Charles Wesley, 
began to preach the doctrine of justification by faith, 
in 1738, and many professed to be so justified, and to 
know the time when this change in their state took 
place, she mentions their notions as new, in a letter she 
wrote to her son Samuel, in March this year (1738) ; 
though it must be acknowledged that she had not then 
conversed with them on the subject, and therefore did 
not know what doctrines they taught, but by report. It 
has indeed been said that ' she lived long enough to 
deplore the extravagances of her sons ;" and this asser- 
tion was founded on the letter above-mentioned. But 
what she says on this subject has only a reference to 
dreams, visions, or some extraordinary revelation, which 
some persons pretended to have had, and in which they 
had received the knowledge of their justification ; at 
least this was reported of several ; but she nowhere 
charges her sons with teaching this as the way of jus- 

" But as this letter has been both misrepresented and 
misunderstood, and it might be thought Mr. Wesley's 
friends wished to conceal it, because it speaks so point- 
edly against the conduct of her sons, I shall give the 
whole of it, and subjoin a few remarks. 

' Thursday, March 8, 1738-9. 
' Dear Son, 
' Your two double letters came safe to me last Friday. 
I thank you for them, and have received much satisfac- 
tion in reading them. They are written with good spirit 
and judgment, sufficient, I should think, to satisfy any 
unprejudiced mind, that the reviving these pretensions 
to dreams, visions, &c, is not only vain and frivolous as 


to the matter of them, but also of dangerous consequence 
to the weaker sort of Christians. You have well ob- 
served, ' that it is not the method of Providence to use 
extraordinary means to bring about that for which ordi- 
nary ones are sufficient.' Therefore the very end for 
which they pretend that these new revelations are sent 
seems to me one of the best arguments against the truth 
of them. As far as I can see, they plead that these 
visions, &c, are given to assure some particular persons 
of their adoption and salvation. But this end is abun- 
dantly provided for in the Holy Scriptures, wherein all 
may find the rules by which we must live here and be 
judged hereafter, so plainly laid down, 'that he who 
runs may read ; and it is by these laws we should ex- 
amine ourselves, which is a way of God's appointment, 
and therefore we may hope for his direction and assist- 
ance in such examination. And if, upon a serious 
review of our state, we find that in the tenor of our 
lives we have or do now sincerely desire and endeavour 
to perform the conditions of the gospel covenant required 
on our parts, then we may discern that the Holy Spirit 
hath laid in our minds a good foundation of a strong 
reasonable, and lively hope of God's mercy through Christ, 
' This is the assurance we ought to aim at, which the 
apostle calls ' the full assurance of hope,' which he ad- 
monishes us to ' hold fast unto the end.' And the con- 
sequence of encouraging fanciful people in this new way 
of seeking assurance (as all do that hear them tell their 
silly stories without rebuke), I think, must be turning 
them out of God's way into one of their own devising. 
You have plainly proved that the Scripture examples, 
and that text in Joel, which they urge in their defence, 
will not answer their purpose, so that they are unsup- 
ported by any authority human or divine (which you 

110 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

have well •bserved) ; and the credit of their relations 
must therefore depend on their own single affirmation, 
which surely will not weigh much with the sober, judi- 
cious part of mankind. 

'I began to write to Charles before I last wrote to 
you, but could not proceed, for my chimney smoked 
so exceedingly, that I almost lost my sight, and remained 
well nigh blind a considerable time. God's blessing on 
eye-water I make cured me of the soreness ; but the 
weakness long remained. Since, I have been informed 
that Mr. Hall intends to remove his family to London, 
hath taken a house, and I must (if it please God I live) 
go with them, where I hope to see Charles ; and then I 
can fully speak my sentiments of their new notions, more 
than I can do by writing ; therefore I shall not finish my 
letter to him. 

' You have heard, I suppose, that Mr. Whitfield is 
taking a progress through these parts to make a collec- 
tion for a house in Georgia for Orphans, and such of the 
natives' children as they will part with to learn our lan- 
guage and religion. He came hither to see me, and we 
talked about your brothers. I told him I did not like 
their way of living, wished them in some place of their 
own, wherein they might regularly preach, &c. He re- 
plied, I could not conceive the good they did in London ; 
that the greatest part of our clergy were asleep, and that 
there never was a greater need of itinerant preachers 
than now. Upon which a gentleman that came with 
him said that my son Charles had converted him, and 
that my sons spent all their time in doing good. I then 
asked Mr. Whitfield if my sons were not for making 
some innovations in the church ; which I much feared. 
He assured me they were so far from it, that they en- 
deavoured all they could to reconcile dissenters to our 


communion ; that my son John had baptized five adult 
presbyterians in our own way on St. Paul's day, and he 
believed would bring over many to our communion. 
His stay was short, so I could not talk with him so 
much as I desired. He seems to be a very good man, 
and one who truly desires the salvation of mankind^ (foil 
grant that the wisdom of the serpent may be joined to 
the innocence of the dove ! 

' My paper and sight are almost at an end ; therefore 
I shall only add, that I send you and yours my hearty 
love and blessing. 

' Service to Mrs. Berry. I had not an opportunity to 
send this till Saturday, the 17th ult. Love and blessing 
to Jacky Ellison. 

' Pray let me hear from you soon. "We go in April.' 
From Mrs. Wesley, Epworth. 

' For the Rev d Mr. Wesley, 
Tiverton, Devon.' 

" 1. I have now laid before the reader every word of 
this so celebrated letter ; and beg him carefully to ob- 
serve, that it is not against her sons, properly speaking, 
but against the persons who in dreams and visions pro- 
fessed to have received an assurance of God's love to 
their souls. Such are the persons whom she means 
when she says, they pretend — they plead — fanciful peo- 
ple — who tell their silly stories — and whose relations 
must depend on their own single affirmation, &c. &c. 
In none of these things does she refer to her sons at all ; 
but she refers to them, when she blames those for not 
rebuking them, who hear them tell such stories. 

" 2. When Mrs. Wesley wrote this letter, she had had 
no interview with her sons, and had only heard of what 
were called extravagances which were produced under 

112 of mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

their preaching; and this she had from her prejudiced 
son Samuel, who had his information from the letter of 
a Mrs. Hutton, at whose house they had lodged at West- 
minster ; and this letter is so perfectly weak and non- 
sensical, that it would be an insult to the reader to lay 
it seriously before him. 

" On this most stupid and foolish letter Mr. Samuel 
founded all the philippics on the conduct of his brothers, 
which he detailed in his letter to his mother ; and I am 
sorry to say, after looking over the whole of the evidence, 
that so bigoted was Mr. Samuel, that he readily caught 
at anything that appeared to vilify that part of the con- 
duct of his brothers, because they preached extempore, 
and because, when excluded from the churches in Lon- 
don, they would dare to preach in any part of that dio- 
cese; which he roundly asserts was downright schism; and 
he might with as much reason have called it downright 
burglary. His prejudiced representations and misrepre- 
sentations should weigh nothing on the question. Besides, 
his expositions of the texts he quotes as the Scriptures ad- 
duced by his brothers to vindicate their ministry, and ac- 
count for their effects, are far from being legitimate. 

" 3. At this time Mrs. Wesley's knowledge of the 
plan of salvation was by no means clear and distinct ; 
of this, one passage in her letter is a sufficient proof. In 
the place where she shows the mode people should adopt 
in order to find a rational assurance of their salvation, 
she says, ' If, upon a serious review of our state, we find 
that in the tenor of our lives we have or do now sincerely 
desire and endeavour to perform the conditions of the 
gospel covenant required on our parts, then we may 
discern that the Holy Spirit hath laid in our minds a 
good foundation of a strong, reasonable, and lively hope 
of God's mercy through Christ.'" 


Now, who that knows properly the way in which a 
sinner is to come to God through Christ for the remission 
of his sins, can suppose that Mrs. W was acquainted 
with that way when she wrote this ? It simply amounts 
to salvation by works, through the merits of Christ. 
But suppose any man, examining the tenor of his life by 
Mrs. Wesley's rule, in order to infer salvation from it, 
finds that he has not fulfilled the conditions of the 
gospel covenant (and every man that makes the inquiry 
with an honest mind, in the fear of God, will find this), 
what is he then to do ? His condition on this ground 
is hopeless. He has fulfilled no conditions ; for he is 
and has been a sinner, and is under the curse of God's 
law. "Where shall his trembling soul fly for mercy ? 
To the blood of the covenant — to him who justifies the 
ungodly ; and he is to seek for mercy through that blood 
alone. And what peace can his conscience feel, or what 
assurance can he have that his sins are blotted out— 
that he is passed from death unto life — till God adopts 
him into the heavenly family ; and because he is then a 
son, God sends forth the Spirit of his Son into his heart, 
crying, Abba, Father ! No salvation by induction or 
inference can satisfy a guilty conscience, which feels the 
wrath of God abiding on it ; nothing but the witness 
from God's Spirit in our own spirit, that we are the 
children of God, can appease the terrors of an awakened 
sinner, give rest to a troubled heart, or be a foundation 
on which the soul can build a rational and scriptural 
hope of eternal life. Mrs. Wesley herself was obliged 
to come at last simply to the blood of Jesus Christ which 
was shed for her ; and then she received, without any 
reference to her past righteousness, the full witness of 
God's Spirit that she was born from above. And though 
I conceive her to have been long before this in a state 

114 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

of favour with God, on the broad ground that he who 
feareth God and worketh righteousness, according to his 
light, is accepted of him ; yet she had not the satisfying 
evidence of her own salvation, till she came, as above 
stated, to that sacrificial death by which pardon was 
purchased for a guilty world. As soon as she conversed 
with her sons, and heard them speak for themselves, she 
was convinced that their doctrine was both rational and 
scriptural, and saw the wickedness of the charges that 
were brought against them. At this very time in which 
she wrote the letter, she heard Mr. George Whitfield 
speak for himself; and though he was much less argu- 
mentative than her son John, and could not give that 
clear description of the hope that was in him as her son 
could have done, yet she was fully convinced that he 
was right — that he was a very good man — one who 
truly desired the salvation of mankind ; and, satisfied of 
his dove-like innocence, prayed that he might have 
wisdom sufiicient to guard it. 

She had doubted and feared concerning her sons, 
because she was misled by her son Samuel, who was 
misled by Mrs. Hutton, who was misled by her total 
want of capacity to judge of such matters, and who 
was horribly offended with Mr. John Wesley, because 
she said he had converted two of her children ; that is, 
he had become the instrument, in the hand of God, 
of awakening their consciences, and leading them to 
"the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the 

In reference to Mrs. Hutton, who wrote so virulently 
against his conduct to Mr. Samuel, representing him as 
little less than a maniac, — 

" The very head and front of his offending, 
Had this extent, no more. — " 


We shall probably see more on this subject when we 
come to the life of Mr. John Wesley. 

" The following extracts from three of her letters to 
Mr. Charles Wesley will show us her opinion of the 
doctrine and conduct of her sons more clearly than any 
thing which has yet appeared in print. 

'Oct. 19, 1738. 

' It is with much pleasure I find your mind is some- 
what easier than formerly, and I heartily thank God 
for it. The spirit of man may sustain his infirmity,— 
but a wounded spirit who can bear ? If this hath been 
your case, it has been sad indeed. But blessed be God, 
who gave you convictions of the evil of sin, as contrary 
to the purity of the divine nature, and the perfect good- 
ness of his law. Blessed be God, who showed you the 
necessity you were in of a Saviour to deliver you from 
the power of sin and Satan (for Christ will be no Saviour 
to such as see not their need of one), and directed you 
by faith to lay hold of that stupendous mercy offered us 
by redeeming love. Jesus is the only physician of souls; 
his blood, the only salve that can heal a wounded con- 

' It is not in wealth, or honour, or sensual pleasure, to 
relieve a spirit heavy laden and weary of the burden of 
sin. These things have power to increase our guilt by 
alienating our hearts from God ; but none to make our 
peace with him ; to reconcile God to man, and man to 
God; and to renew the union between the divine and 
human nature. 

' No, there is none but Christ, none but Christ, who 
is sufficient for these things. But, blessed be God, he 
is an all-sufficient Saviour! and blessed be his holy 

116 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

name, that thou hast found him a Saviour to thee, my 
son! O let us love him much, for we have much 

' I would gladly know what your notion is of justi- 
fying faith, because you speak of it as a thing you have 
but lately received.' 

" The second letter is dated Dec. 6, 1738. In it she 

says :— 

' I think you are fallen into an odd way of thinking. 
You say that till within a few months you had no spi- 
ritual life, nor any justifying faith. 

" Now this is as if a man should affirm he was not 
alive in his infancy, because, when an infant, he did not 
know he was alive. All, then, that I can gather from 
your letter is, that till a little while ago you were not 
so well satisfied of your being a Christian as you are 
now. I heartily rejoice that you have now attained to 
a strong and lively hope in God's mercy through Christ. 
Not that I can think that you were totally without saving 
faith before : but it is one thing to have faith, and an- 
other thing to be sensible we have it. Faith is the fruit 
of the Spirit, and the gift of God ; but to feel or be in- 
wardly sensible that we have true faith, requires a far- 
ther operation of God's Holy Spirit. You say you have 
peace, but not joy in believing: Blessed be God for 
peace ! May this peace rest with you ! Joy will follow, 
perhaps not very closely; but it will follow faith and 
love. God's promises are sealed to us, but not dated : 
therefore patiently attend his pleasure ; he will give you 
joy in believing. Amen.' 

" From these letters we see that Mrs. Wesley was so 


far from deploring the extravagance of her sons, that she 
rejoiced in their Christian experience, and praised God 
for it. She thought them mistaken in judging of their 
former state, hut not in their notions of justifying faith 
itself; for she says, in the letter last mentioned — 

' My notion of justifying faith is the same with yours; 
for that trusting in Jesus Christ, or the promises made 
in him, is that special act of faith to which our justifi- 
cation or acceptance is so frequently ascrihed in the 
gospel. This faith is certainly the gift of God, wrought 
in the mind of man hy the Holy Spirit.' 

" The two Mr. Wesleys professed to know the time 
when they received justifying faith ; and they taught 
that others might knqw the time of their justification. 
On this head she observes : — 

' I do not judge it necessary to know the exact time 
of our conversion/ 

" From which it appears that she did not think this 
part of their doctrine erroneous or extravagant : she was 
only afraid lest this circumstance should be made a 
necessary criterion of conversion, which she thought 
might hurt the minds of weaker Christians. 

"These letters, therefore, are a full confutation of Mr. 
Badcock's assertion. 

" The third letter is dated Dec. 27, 1739, after she 
had come to reside chiefly in London. Here she en- 
joyed the conversation of her sons alternately ; the one 
being always in town, while the other was in the coun- 
try. She now attended on their ministry., conversed 

118 op mr. Wesley's ancestors. 

with the* people of the Society, and became more per- 
fectly acquainted with their whole doctrine, and seems 
heartily to hare embraced it. Charles was in Bristol 
when she wrote this letter to him. She observes : — > 

c You cannot more desire to see me, than I do to see 
you. Your brother, whom I shall henceforth call Son 
Wesley, since my dear Sam is gone home, has just been 
with me, and much revived my spirits. Indeed, I have 
often found that he never speaks in my hearing without 
my receiving some spiritual benefit. But his visits are 
seldom and short ; for which I never blame him, be- 
cause I know he is well employed ; and, blessed be God, 
hath great success in his ministry. But, my dear Charles, 
still I want either him or you ; for indeed, in the most 
literal sense, I am become a little child, and want con- 
tinual succour. ' As iron sharpeneth iron, so doth the 
countenance t5r a man his friend.' I feel much com- 
fort and support from religious conversation when I can 
obtain it. Formerly I rejoiced in the absence of com- 
pany, and found, the less I had of creature comforts, the 
more I had from God. But alas ! I am fallen from that 
spiritual converse I once enjoyed. And why is it so ? 
Because I want faith. God is an omnipresent, un- 
changeable Good, in whom is no variableness, neither 
shadow of turning : the fault is in myself; and I attri- 
bute all mistakes in judgment, and all errors in practice, 
to want of faith in the blessed Jesus. O, my dear, 
when I consider the dignity of his person, the perfection 
of his purity, the greatness of his sufferings, but above 
all his boundless love, I am astonished and utterly con- 
founded; I am lost in thought. I fall into nothing 
before him ! O how inexcusable is that person who has 


knowledge of these things, and yet remains poor and 
low in faith and love ! I speak as one guilty in this 

' I have been prevented from finishing my letter. I 
complained I had none to converse with me on spiritual 
things ; but for these several days I have had the con- 
versation of many good Christians, who have refreshed 
in some measure my fainting spirits ; and though they 
hindered my writing, yet it was a pleasing, and I hope 
not an unprofitable interruption they gave me. I hope 
we shall shortly speak face to face ; and I shall then, if 
God permit, impart my thoughts more fully. But then, 
alas ! when you come, your brother leaves me ! yet that 
is the will of God, in whose blessed service you are 
engaged ; who has hitherto blessed your labours, and 
preserved your persons. That he may continue so to 
prosper your work, and protect you both from evil, and 
give you strength and courage to preach the true gospel 
in opposition to the united powers of evil men and evil 
angels, is the hearty prayer of, dear Charles, 

' Your loving Mother, 

' Susanna "Wesley/ 

"This letter gives full evidence that Mrs. Wesley 
cordially approved of the conduct of her sons, and was 
animated with zeal for the success of their labours. She 
continued in the most perfect harmony with them till 
her death ; attending on their ministry, and walking in 
the light of God's countenance, she rejoiced in the happy 
experience of the truths she heard them preach." 

Dr. Whitehead's Life, vol. i., pp. 49 — 54. 

It appears from all we have seen of Mrs. Wesley that 
she was a woman of real experience in the things of 

120 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

God. Bilt it does not appear that she had a clear notion 
of justification, as distinct from sanctification ; on the 
contrary, she seems to hare confounded them together 
The consequence was, that her knowledge of the doc- 
trine of justification hy faith alone, without the deeds of 
the law, was not so clear as it might have been ; and 
this hindered her from enjoying that full assuranee of 
her state, and the peace and joy consequent upon it> 
which otherwise she would have had. 

To have denied the witness of God's Spirit, or the 
assurance of our adoption, Mrs. Wesley must have 
strangely forgotten herself; for it was one part of her 
creed, and one point in the apostles* creed, according to 
her own exposition, that believing in the Holy Ghost 
implies believing that he assures us of our adoption. 
See her letter to her daughter Susan, already inserted. 

As to the doctrine of assurance (or the knowledge of 
our salvation by the remission of sins; or, in other 
words, that a man who is justified by faith in Christ 
Jesus knows that he is so, the Spirit bearing witness 
with his spirit, that he is a child of God), against which 
such a terrible outcry has been made, I would beg leave 
to ask, what is Christianity without it ? A mere system 
of ethics ; an authentic history ; a dead letter. It is by 
the operations of the Holy Spirit in the souls of be- 
lievers that the connexion is kept up between heaven 
and earth. The grand principle of the Christian religion 
is, to reconcile men to God by Christ Jesus ; to bring 
them from a state of wrath to reconciliation and favour 
with God ; to break the power> cancel the guilt, and 
destroy the very being of sin; — for Christ was mani- 
fested that he might destroy the work of the devil. 
And can this be done in any human soul, and it know 
nothing about it, except by inference and conjecture ? 


Miserable state of Christianity indeed, where no man 
knows that he is horn of God ! This assurance of God's 
love is the birthright and common privilege of all his 
children. It is a general experience among truly re- 
ligious people : they take rest, -rise up, work, and live 
under its influence. By it they are carried comfortably 
through all the ills of life, bring forth the fruits of the 
Spirit, triumph in redeeming grace, and die exulting in 
him whom they know and feel to be the God of their 

Nor is this confined to superannuated women, as Mr. 
Southey (vol. i., p. 291) charitably hopes Mrs. Wesley 
was, when she professed to receive the knowledge of 
salvation by the remission of sins. Men, also, as learned 
as Mr. Badcock, as philosophical as Mr. Southey, as 
deeply read in men and things as Bishop Lavington, and 
as sound divines, at least, as the rector of Manaccan, 
have exulted in the same testimony, walked in all good 
conscience before God, illustrated the doctrine by a suit- 
able deportment, and died full of joyful anticipation of 
an eternal glory. Alas ! what a dismal tale do those 
men tell, who not only strive to argue against the doc- 
trine, but endeavour to turn it into ridicule ! They tell 
us that they are not reconciled to God ! 

Mr. Badcock's sneers at the matter of assurance, as he 
calls it, and the extravagances of Mr. John and Charles 
Wesley, were little in character. He was a learned 
man, an able critic, and generally allowed to be mild 
and liberal. But who can reconcile this general, and 
probably well-deserved character, with the concluding 
part of the paragraph above referred to ? " Their brother 
Samuel exerted his best powers to reclaim them from 
their wanderings, but in vain. The extravagant and 
erring spirit could not be reduced to its own confine. It 


122 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

had bursf its bonds asunder, and ran violently down the 

This was still less in character, when we consider Mr. 
Badcock a dissenting minister, for such he was in 1782, 
when he wrote the above letter, and for many years 
before; though he afterwards conformed, and entered 
the church, in the year 1786; and his creed with respect 
to the doctrine of assurance, as existing in the Assem- 
bly's Catechism, must have been the same, in words at 
least, with that of Mr. Wesley. 

For the reader's instruction I shall note the place : — 

"Quest. 31. What are the benefits which in this life 
do either accompany or flow from justification, adoption, 
and sanctification ? 

"Answer. Assurance of God's love, peace of con- 
science, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and 
perseverance therein unto the end." 

And the following Scriptures are quoted to establish 
these assertions : " Being justified by faith, we have 
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By 
whom also we have access by faith into this grace, 
wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of 
God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love 
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost 
which is given unto us," Rom. xiv. 1, 2, 5. " For the 
kingdom of God is not meat and drink ; but righteous- 
ness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost," Rom. xiv. 17- 
" These things have I written unto you that believe on 
the name of the Son of God, that ye may know ye have 
eternal life," 1 John v. 13. 

Here, then, is the " matter of assurance," which the 
Methodists have preached, do preach, and I hope will 
preach, as long as they have a name to live upon the 
earth. And these Scriptures are full to the point ; and 


Silly prove that every sinner, who by hearty repentance 
and true faith returns unto the Lord, through Christ 
Jesus, receives remission of sins, and has the witness in 

Perhaps the most irregular part of Mr. Wesley's con- 
duct was his employing lay preachers — persons without 
any ordination by the imposition of hands; and the 
fullest proof that we can have of Mrs. Wesley's approving 
most heartily every thing in the doctrine and discipline of 
her sons, was her approval of lay preaching, or, to use 
the words of her father-in-law, John Wesley of Whit- 
church, " The preaching of gifted men, without episcopal 
ordination." This began in her time ; and she repeatedly 
sat under the ministry of the first man, Mr. Thomas 
Maxfield, who attempted to officiate among the Method- 
ists in this hitherto unprecedented way. 

It was in Mr. Wesley's absence that Mr. Maxfield 
began to preach. Being informed of this new and ex- 
traordinary thing, he hastened back to London to put a 
stop to it. Before he took any decisive step, he spoke 
to his mother on the subject, and informed her of his 
intention. She said (I have had the account from Mr. 
Wesley himself), "My son, I charge you before God, 
beware what vou do : for Thomas Maxfield is as much 
called to preach the gospel as ever you were !" The 
unction of God that attended the preaching convinced 
her that the preacher's call was from heaven. This was 
one of the last things that a person of such high-church 
principles might be expected to accede to. And this 
fact, with what is related above, will for ever obliterate 
the calumny cast upon this blessed woman, — that she 
lived long enough to deplore the extravagances of her 


124 op mr. wesleys ancestors. 

Nor fldll the great body of the Methodist preachers 
forget that Mrs. Wesley, the mother of their founder, 
was the patroness and first encourager of the lay 

Mr. Thomas Maxfield was the first lay preacher ; Mr. 
Thomas Richards, the second ; and Mr. Thomas Westell, 
the third. The former and latter I knew: — but who 
will be the last, who without any ordination by the im- 
position of hands, shall officiate as an itinerant preacher 
in the Methodist connexion ? That they will soon have 
recourse to this scriptural rite may be safely conjectured; 
and that they should never have been without it may be 
successfully argued. Their mode of admission into the 
ministry, it must be granted, is sufficiently solemn and 
efficient ; but they have no authority to dispense with a 
scriptural and apostolic rite. 

After the death of Mr. Samuel Wesley, in 1735, the 
family were all scattered, and the household goods and 
property sold, as the premises had to be cleared for a 
new incumbent ; a heavy and distressing inconvenience 
in the discipline of the Church of England, which ex- 
tends from the lowest vicar to the metropolitan of the 
whole empire. 

Previously to this, some of the sisters had been mar- 
ried ; two were with their uncle Matthew ; others were 
settled as governesses and teachers of youth, for which 
they appear to have been well qualified ; and one (Emily) 
had taken up a school at Gainsborough. With her 
Mrs. Wesley appears to have sojourned awhile, before 
she went to live with her sons John and Charles ; where, 
free from cares and worldly anxieties, with which she 
had long been unavoidably encumbered, she spent the 
evening of her life in comparative ease and comfort. 


Of her last moments her son John gives the following 
account : — 

" I left Bristol on the evening of Sunday, July 18, 
1742, and on Tuesday came to London. I found my 
mother on the borders of eternity; but she had no 
doubts nor fear; nor any desire, but as soon as God 
should call, ' to depart and be with Christ.' 

" Friday, 23rd. — About three in the afternoon I went 
to see my mother, and found her change was near. I 
sat down on the bed-side ; she was in her last conflict, 
unable to speak, but I believe quite sensible. Her look 
was calm and serene, and her eyes fixed upward, while 
we commended her soul to God. From three to four 
the silver cord was loosing, and the wheel breaking at 
the cistern; and then, without any struggle, or sigh, or 
groan, the soul was set at liberty. We stood round the 
bed, and fulfilled her last request, uttered a little before 
she lost her speech, ' Children, as soon as I am released, 
sing a psalm of praise to God.' 

" Sunday, August 1. — Almost an innumerable com- 
pany of people being gathered together, about five in 
the afternoon, I committed to the earth the body of my 
mother, to sleep with her fathers. The portion of 
Scripture from which I afterwards spoke w r as, " I saw a 
great w T hite throne, and him that sat on it, from whose 
face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was 
found no place for them. And I saw the dead small 
and great stand before God, and the books were opened. 
And the dead were judged out of those things which 
were written in the books according to their works." It 
was one of the most solemn assemblies I ever saw, or 
expect to see, on this side eternity. 

" "We set up a plain stone at the head of her grave, 
inscribed with the following words : — 

126 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

Here lies the body of Mrs. Susanna Wesley, the 
youngest and last surviving daughter of Dr. Samuel 


In sure and stedfast hope to rise, 
And claim her mansion in the skies, 
A Christian here her flesh laid down 
The cross exchanging' for a crown. 

True daughter of affliction, she, 
Inured to pain and misery, 
Mourned a long night of griefs and fears, 
A legal night of seventy years : 

The Father then revealed his Son, 
Him in the broken bread made known 5 
She knew and felt her sins forgiven, 
And found the earnest of her heaven. 

Meet for the fellowship above, 
She heard the call, ' Arise, my love.' 
' I come/ her dying looks replied, 
And lamblike, as her Lord, she died." 

The reader, who has carefully considered the preceding 
memoirs, is most certainly prepared for a widely different 
epitaph from the preceding. It is trite, bald, and inex- 
pressive. Her passive character may be said to be given; 
she was a daughter of affliction, and suffered with the 
highest resignation to the will of God, and the dispen- 
sation of his providence : but, as she says herself, if 
she had much affliction and pain, she had still more 
intervals of ease and health ; and she even adduces her 
own case, where afflictions and trials abounded, as a 
proof that the blessings of life are more numerous than 
its ills and disadvantages ; and calculates that on a fair 
estimate this will be found to be the case with every 

The second and third stanzas are incautiously ex- 


pressed : they seem to intimate that she was not received 
into the divine favour till she was seventy years of age ! 
For my own part, after having traced her through all 
the known periods of her life, and taking her spiritual 
state from her own nervous and honest pen, I can 
scarcely douht that she was in the divine favour long 
hefore that time ; according to that text, " He that fear- 
eth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him." 
And though she lived in a time when the spiritual pri- 
vileges of the people of God were not so clearly defined 
nor so well understood as they are at present ; yet she 
was not without large communications of the divine 
Spirit, heavenly light, and heavenly ardours, which often 
caused her to sit, " like cherub bright, some moments on 
a throne of love." She had the faith of God's elect ; 
she acknowledged the truth which is according to godli- 
ness. Her spirit and life were conformed to this truth ; 
and she was not, as she could not be, without the favour 
and approbation of God. 

But there is a fact that seems to stand against this, 
which is alluded to in the second and third stanzas, viz., 
that " in receiving the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
when her son-in-law, Mr. Hall, presented her the cup 
with these words, ' The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
which was shed for thee,' she felt them strike through 
her heart; and she then knew that God, for Christ's 
sake, had forgiven her all her sins." That Mrs. Wesley 
did then receive a powerful influence from the Holy 
Spirit, I can readily believe, by which she was mightily 
confirmed and strengthened, and had from it the clearest 
evidence of her reconciliation to God ; but that she had 
been in a legal state, or, as some have understood that 
expression, was seeking "justification by the works of the 
law" until then, I have the most positive facts to disprove. 

128 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

Mr. Samuel Wesley's ministry was strong and faithful: 
but it was not clear on the point of justification by faith, 
and the witness of the Spirit. I can say this from the 
most direct evidence, — several of his own MS. sermons 
now before me. To " know that we are of God, by the 
Spirit which he has given us," he, and most in his time, 
believed to be the privilege of a few, and but of a few : 
hence the people were not exhorted to "follow on to 
know the Lord ;" and although several, and among them 
most undoubtedly Mrs. Wesley, had a measure of the 
thing, felt its effects, and brought forth the fruits of it, 
yet they knew not its name. Mrs. Wesley had long 
before laid her burden at the foot of the cross ; she had 
received Christ crucified as her only Saviour ; she herself 
shows that she had trusted in nothing but the infinite 
merit of his sacrificial death and intercession ; she was 
justified by faith, for she had " peace with God through 
our Lord Jesus Christ," gloried even in tribulation, and 
rejoiced in hope of the glory of God ; for " the love of 
God was shed abroad in her heart by the Holy Ghost 
that was given to her :" but having little or no acquaint- 
ance with deeply religious people, and her husband not 
holding out this blessing as the privilege of all true 
believers, she knew not precisely her own state; and 
because she did not know how to hold fast the conso- 
lations which she had received, she often, like many 
others, fell into doubts and fears which brought her into 
temporary bondage. But, in general, her mountain stood 

After her husband's death, when she came to sit 
under the clear ministry of her sons John and Charles, 
and to converse with many pious and sensible members 
of the society, her mind became more enlightened in 
spiritual things ; she saw the privileges of the people of 


God, expected much in the means of grace, and received 
a fresh, fall, and clear evidence of her acceptance at the 
time mentioned above. 

She had then what the Methodists rightly call the 
abiding witness of the Spirit, and very probably an ap- 
plication of that " blood which cleanses from all unright- 
eousness." That she had long served God as a master, 
under the spirit of fear, without that love which springs 
from a consciousness of his love ("We love him because 
he first loved us"), I am ready enough to grant. This is, 
less or more, the lot and experience of all : but that 
legal night did not last to her seventieth year. She was 
long before that in the divine favour, and felt her bless- 
edness, though she could not give it its appropriate 
name ; nor did she feel its fulness, because she had not 
the advantage of a clear ministry on the subject of sal- 
vation by faith. 

I do not argue that a person may be justified, and not 
know it, or feel the alteration in his state. I think this 
is a dangerous doctrine ; because I am satisfied that it is 
the privilege of every believer to know he is in the 
divine favour. But I contend, a person may be justified, 
have peace and joy in believing, and feel the burden of 
guilt taken away from the conscience, and for a time not 
know the precise name of that state of grace in which 
he stands. I have known a very striking case of this 
kind, where the person, having little acquaintance with 
religious people, after a long night of grief, darkness, 
and distress, felt and was astonished at the moral change 
which had taken place in his mind, but knew not by 
what name to call it. His burden of guilt, and he had 
felt it very heavy, was taken away ; he felt no condem- 
nation, he rejoiced in Christ Jesus, and had no confi- 
dence in the flesh, and brought forth all the fruits of 


130 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

faith ; and. it was a considerable time after this change 
had taken place before he knew what God had done for 
his soul, though he felt and exulted in the blessedness 
he had received. 

But to return. What is an epitaph ? or what should 
an epitaph be? A strongly condensed abridgment of 
the life of the deceased ; and if a pious person be the 
subject, the epitaph should be a pointed exhibition of 
the grace that was in him, and his faithfulness to that 
grace ; and all this so recommended that the living may 
lay it to heart, and be excited to a practical emulation. 
But how little of this is found in the above epitaph ! 
We are not even told that she was the wife of Samuel 
Wesley, rector of Epworth ! Perhaps modesty in the 
sons prevented them from speaking in her praise : if so, 
it was very ill-judged. Had I a muse of the strongest 
pinion, I should not fear to indulge it in its highest 
flights in sketching out the character of this super-excel- 
lent woman. Mr. Southey has very properly criticised 
this epitaph ; but he mistakes when he says, that " her 
sons represent her as if she had lived in ignorance of 
real Christianity during the life of her excellent hus- 
band." They do not, they could not, do it. They well 
knew she had a profound knowledge of Christianity, 
nor was she indebted to her husband's teaching for this : 
but the epitaph represents her as being to that time 
destitute of the knowledge of salvation by the remission 
of sins. A man may have a full knowledge of real 
Christianity without this ; but he cannot without it have 
an experimental knowledge of its saving power. How- 
ever, she had both, long before that time. And so fully 
acquainted was she with the Christian system, and the 
evidences of its divine origin, that she even taught wis- 
dom among those that were perfect — those that were 


deeply instructed in all human learning. How Mr, 
John Wesley could consent to permit such an epitaph 
to be inscribed on her head-stone, I cannot comprehend. 
In the late edition of Mr. Wesley's Works the whole 
account is very reprehensibly omitted in the Journal, 
and only referred to as being entered in vol. i., p. 41 ; 
and in this place only the first verse of the epitaph is 
given.* Probably the editor was as much displeased 
with it as either Mr. South ey or myself, t 

* I find Mr. Moore, in his recent life of Mr. Wesley, defends 
this epitaph, and is severe on those who have found fault with it. 
He says, " The poetry of Mr. Charles Wesley is too high for 
them." I hope he does not refer to anything in this epitaph, as 
too high for any person who has common sense to understand. 
My objection is, it is too low for her who was its object ; and I 
am fully satisfied that the epitaph has no merit, beyond a flat sim- 
plicity. I contend, that the last lines of the second stanza " are 
incautiously expressed," and are not a true representation of the 
state of Mrs. Wesley. This I have sufficiently proved to every 
unprejudiced mind, in my account of this super-excellent woman. 
That any soul of man, " not wholly unacquainted with the art of 
poetry," should ever call this epitaph " inexpressibly beautiful and 
highly characteristic," is to me, knowing as I do the learning, 
sound judgment, and good sense of the writer, a wonder of the 
first magnitude. What now stands on her head-stone may be 
found at the end of this account. 

t In a subsequent edition of Mr. Wesley's works, published in 
1829. the epitaph is inserted, vol. i., p. 384. It is also to be found 
in " Hymns and Sacred Poems. In two volumes. By Charles 
Wesley, M. A., Student of Christ Church, Oxford. Bristol : 
Printed and sold by Felix Farley." — Vol. i., p. 282. First Edition. 
Dr. Clarke, in his first edition of the " Wesley Family," p. 360, 
observes, in reference to the epitaph in question, that " he," that 
is, Mr. John Wesley, " certainly never composed it." Mr. Charles 
Wesley confirms the doctor's opinion, by inserting it among his own 
" Hymns and Sacred Poems ;" and had the doctor been aware of this, 
he would not have expunged the passage, in preparing the work 
for a second edition. — Editor. 

132 of mr Wesley's ancestors. 

Mrs. Wesley's character will be best seen in the pre- 
ceding memoirs. She appears to have had the advantage 
of a liberal education, as far as Latin, Greek, and French 
enter into such an education. She had read much, and 
thought much ; and thus her mind was cultivated. Both 
logic and metaphysics had formed a part of her studies ; 
and these acquisitions, without appearing, for she stu- 
diously endeavours to conceal them, are felt to great 
advantage in all her writings. 

She had a strong and vigorous mind, and an un- 
daunted courage. She feared no difficulty; and in 
search of truth, at once looked the most formidable 
objections full in the face ; and never hesitated to give 
any enemy all the vantage-ground he could gain, when 
she rose up to defend either the doctrines or precepts of 
the religion of the Bible. She was not only graceful 
but beautiful in her person. Her sister Judith, painted 
by Sir Peter Lely, is represented as a very beautiful 
woman. One who well knew both said, " Beautiful as 
Miss Annesley appears, she was far from being so beau- 
tiful as Mrs. Wesley." 

As a wife she was affectionate and obedient, having a 
sacred respect for authority wherever lodged.* As the 

* Her husband, in his Life of Christ, has drawn the following 
" picture of a good wife," which has been pointed out as exhibiting 
the living excellences he beheld in his own, p. 40, lines 258 — 276 ■. 

" She graced my humble roof, and blest my life, 
Blest me by a far greater name than wife ■* 
Yet still I bore an undisputed sway, 
Nor was't her task, but pleasure, to obey ; 
Scarce thought, much less could act, what I denied , 
In our low house there was no room for pride : 
Nor need I e'er direct what still was right, 
She studied my convenience and delight. 

* Friend. 


mistress of a large family, her management was exquisite 
in all its parts ; and its success beyond comparison or 
former example. As a Christian, she was modest, hum- 
ble, and pious. Her religion was as jajj^naljas it was 
scriptural and profound. In forming her creed she dug 
deep, and laid her foundation upon a rock; and the 
storms and adversities of life never shook it. Her faith 
carried her through life, and it was unimpaired in death. 
She was a tender mother, a wise and invaluable friend. 
Several of her children were eminent ; and he, who ex- 
celled all the rest, owed, under God, at least one half of 
his excellencies to the instructions of his mother. If it 
were not unusual to apply such an epithet to a woman, 
I would not hesitate to say she was an able divine ! 

I have traced her life with much pleasure, and received 
from it much instruction; and when I have seen her 
repeatedly grappling with gigantic adversities, I have 
adored the grace of God that Avas in her, and have not 
been able to repress my tears. I have been acquainted 
with many pious females ; I have read the lives of several 
others, and composed memoirs of a few; but such a 
woman, take her for all in all, I have not heard of, I 
have not read of, nor with her equal have I been ac- 

Nor did I for her care ungrateful prove, 

But only used my power to show my love. 

Whate'er she asked I gave, without reproach or grudge, 

For still she reason asked, and I was judge ; 

All my commands, requests at her fair hands, 

And her requests to me were all commands : 

To other's thresholds rarely she'd incline, 

Her house her pleasure was, and she was mine : 

Rarely abroad, or never, but with me, 

Or when by pity called, or charity." 


134 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

quainted. £uch an one Solomon has described in the 
last chapter of his Proverbs ; and to her I can apply the 
summed-up character of his accomplished housewife : 
Many daughters have done virtuously; but Susanna 
Wesley has excelled them all. 

As neither Mr. Wesley nor any of his mother's bio- 
graphers have mentioned the place of her interment, I 
shall just observe that it may be found in Bunhill 
Fields, where the numbers 42 and 17 intersect. A 
new stone has of late years been set up with the follow- 
ing inscription : — 

Here lies the body of 


Widow of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, M. A., 

(late Rector of Epworth, in Lincolnshire), 

who died July 23, 1742, 

Aged 73 years. 

She was the youngest Daughter of the 

Rev. Samuel Annesley, D. D., ejected by the Act 

of Uniformity from the Rectory of St. Giles's 

Cripplegate, Aug. 24, 1662. 

She was the Mother of nineteen Children, 

of whom the most eminent were the 


the former of whom was under God the 

Founder of the Societies of the People 

called Methodists 

In sure and certain hope to rise, 
And claim her mansion in the skies, 
A Christian here her flesh laid down. 
The cross exchanging for a crown. 



Where the male issue fails, the records of any private 
family may soon be lost ; in most cases, neither public 
nor private interest is promoted by keeping up the 

Though it is only about forty* years since the founder 
of the Methodists died, all knowledge of that part of 
the family that had no public eminence is almost oblite- 
rated. Out of the nineteen children of Mr. Samuel 
Wesley, the names of only thirteen can be recovered ; 
and of most even of these little or nothing is known. 

It is customary in many country parishes to keep the 
registers at the Parsonage-house, because of the damp 
of the church and vestry. This was the case at the 
Parsonage-house at Epworth ; and when it was burnt 
down in 1709, all these records perished in the flames ; 
so that the genealogy of all the children born in Epworth 
previously to this catastrophe is lost I have inquired 
upon the spot, and also extended those inquiries to 
South Ormsby and Wroote ; and all that I can collect 
will be given under each name.t 

* The second edition of this work was under Dr. Clarke's cor- 
recting hand in 1828-9. — Editor. 

t The following is the order in which Dr. Clarke had left them : 
"Samuel Wesley; Susanna Wesley ; Emilia Wesley; Annesley 
and Jedidiah, twins ; Susannah, afterwards Mrs. Ellison ; John 
Wesley ; Martha Wesley ; Charles Wesley ; Mary Wesley ; 
Anne Wesley ; Mehetabel Wesley, or Hetty ; and Kezziah Wes- 
ley." But this arrangement would in all probability have been 
altered; and the following, if it had not been adopted, will 
perhaps appear, after a minute attention to the different dates as 




Of the eighteen or nineteen children which Mrs. Wes- 
ley had, Samuel was undoubtedly the eldest, as he was 
born in London or its vicinity before his father's removal 
to South Ormsby, which was in the beginning of 1691, 
as appears by his handwriting in the parish register still 
preserved, and already noticed. Mr. Wesley appears 
to have married Miss S. Annesley in 1689; and his son 

they turn up in the work, as correct a genealogical account as any 
that has hitherto been presented to the public : — 






1. Samuel Wesley 



" Student's Library ; " Epitaph ; 
South Ormsby Register. 

2. Susannah Wesley 

S. Ormsby 


South Ormsby Register. 

3. Emilia, afterwards 

Mrs. Harper 




4. Annesley and Jedi- 




5. Susannah, after- 

wards Mrs. Elli- 



" One year older " than Mary dur- 

ing the disturbances in the Par- 

6. Mary, afterwards 

sonage House (see vol. i., p. 254). 

Mrs. Whitelamb 




Was "about twenty years old," 
during the disturbances in the 

7. Mehetabel, or Het- 

Parsonage House, in 1716 (see 

ty, afterwardsMrs. 

vol. i., p. 254). 




Was " a year younger than Molly" 
(or Mary), during the same dis- 
turbances (see vol. L, p. 254). 

— Twins, unnamed.. 



See vol. i., p. 198, letter dated May 
18, 1701. 

8. Anne, afterwards 

Mrs. Lambert . . 



"About fifteen years old" during 
the disturbances (see vol. i., p. 
258). . 



See the different memoirs of him. 

10. Martha, afterwards 

Mrs. Hall 



See her life. 

1 1 . Charles Wesley 



See his biographers. 

12. Kezziah Wesley .. 



See a note from her brother John, 

in her memoir. 

The memoirs are inserted agreeably to this arrangement.- 


Samuel was born on the 10th of February in the follow- 
ing year. This date may be collected from his epitaph, 
which states his death to have taken place, "Nov. 6, 
1739, in the 49th year of his age." Whether he was 
baptized among the Dissenters, or in some parochial 
church in London, I cannot learn ; the probability is, 
that he was dedicated to God by his grandfather, Dr. 

Mr. Samuel Wesley came into the world with a strange 
mark, which Mr. J. W mentions, in his critique on 
Count de Buffon's Natural History, Armin. Mag., vol. v., 
p. 547. The Count, who denies that children are 
marked in consequence of the longing of their mothers, 
says, " The marks of fruit are always yellow, red, or 
black;" to which Mr. J. W answers, "No; my own 
mother longed for mulberries. In consequence of this, 
my eldest brother had all his life a mulberry on his 
neck ; and both the size and colour varied just like 
those of a real mulberry. Every spring it was small and 
white ; it then grew larger, exactly as real mulberries do, 
being greenish, then red, then a deep purple, as large 
and of as deep a purple as any mulberry on the tree." 

I have already mentioned, in the memoirs of Mrs. 
Wesley, that Samuel did not speak till he was between 
four and five years of age, which was a great grief to the 
family, as they feared he was born dumb. But one day, 
having retired out of sight, as was his frequent custom, 
to amuse himself with a favourite cat, hearing his mother 
anxiously calling him, he crept out from under a table, 
and said, " Here I am, mother," to the great surprise 
and comfort of all the family. 

In 1704, when about fourteen years of age, he was 
sent to Westminster School ; and was admitted King's 
scholar in 1707- 

138 of mr. wesley's ancestors. 

This school, through the extraordinary abilities of Dr 
Busby, its late master, then only a few years dead, had 
acquired the highest celebrity of any school in Europe. 
In it Dr. Busby had his education ; and, after completing 
his studies at Oxford, he became its head master in 1640. 
He superintended it for fifty-five years; during which 
time, by his skill, diligence, deep learning, and exact dis- 
cipline, he bred up the greatest number of eminent men 
in church and state, that ever at one time adorned any 
age or nation. He died in 1695, when almost ninety 
years of age. 

Where Dr. Busby found animation, he knew there 
was brain, and proper cultivation would produce and 
extend intellect ; and the apparent stupidity or dulness 
of the subject was neither a bar to his expectations, nor 
a hinderance to his ultimate success. He had to operate 
on minds of various descriptions, from that of the 
flippant witling, down to that of the heavy lumpish lad, 
whose intellect seemed irrecoverably enveloped in hebe- 
tude. To Dr. Busby's plans, science, and discipline, 
every thing yielded ; and no dunce nor unlearned man 
was ever turned out of Westminster School during his 

When Mr. Wesley entered this school, all Dr. Busby's 
plans were in full operation ; and the elementary books 
which this great master had composed for this institution 
were of such a character as at once to smooth the path 
of learning, till then sufficiently rugged, and lay the 
foundation of a correct classical taste and profound lite- 
rature. In the present age, humane and learned men 
have been endeavouring, so to speak, to find out a royal 
road to geometry ; difficulties have been professedly 
lessened, till at last the foundations of science have been 
laid upon the sands. Profound literature is rarely to be 


met with. We have still, it is true, the splendour and 
brilliancy of gold ; but on examination we frequently 
find a mass of inferior metal; and even the surface, 
though completely covered, yet not deeply gilt. 

Mr. Wesley availed himself of the valuable advantages 
put within his reach, and became a thorough scholar. 
He had naturally a strong and discerning mind, which 
soon shone conspicuous for its correct classical taste. Of 
this these memoirs shall exhibit ample proof. 

We have already seen what care Mrs. Wesley took to 
cultivate the minds of her children, and form them, as 
far as human influence and teaching can extend, to re- 
ligion and piety. As the blessing of God will never be 
wanting to render such parental cares efficient, she saw 
in every case that her labour was not in vain. As 
Samuel was her first-born, she felt it her duty in a pecu- 
liar manner to dedicate him to the Lord. Hence she 
was especially concerned for his highest interest ; and 
her anxious cares were not lessened on his removal to 
Westminster. Thoroughly apprehensive of the dangers 
to which he would be exposed in a public school, far re- 
moved from the eye of his parents, she endeavoured, by 
a very judicious and pious correspondence, to maintain 
the good impressions which had been made on his 
mind ; and to show him that the new engagements into 
which he was proposing to enter required such a steadi- 
ness and purity of conduct as could not be obtained but 
by a heart decidedly fixed on God, and making him the 
end of all its operations and designs. As his parents 
had dedicated him to the work of the ministry, so it 
became the object of his own choice ; and his literary 
pursuits were in the main directed to this end. 

A letter, written to him by his mother in October, 1709, 


refers to ell these circumstances, and contains such ex- 
cellent counsels and advices, conceived with so much 
piety and judgment, and expressed with so much energy 
and dignity of language, as could not fail to make them 
profitable to the son; and must render them useful to 
all in similar circumstances, who may have the oppor- 
tunity to read them. 

" I hope that you retain the impressions of your edu- 
cation, nor have forgot that the vows of God are upon 
you. You know that the first-fruits are Heaven's by 
an unalienable right; and that as your parents de- 
voted you to the service of the altar, so you yourself 
made it your choice when your father was offered 
another way of life for you. But have you duly con- 
sidered what such a choice and such a dedication im- 
ports ? Consider well, what separation from the world, 
what purity, what devotion, what exemplary virtue, 
are required in those who are to guide others to glory ! 
I say exemplary, for low, common degrees of piety are 
not sufficient for those of the sacred function. You 
must not think to five like the rest of the world ; your 
light must so shine before men that they may see your 
good works, and thereby be led to glorify your Father 
which is in heaven. For my part, I cannot see with 
what face clergymen can reprove sinners, or exhort men 
to lead a good life, when they themselves indulge then- 
own corrupt inclinations, and by their practice contra- 
dict their doctrine. If the Holy Jesus be indeed their 
Master, and they are really his Ambassadors, surely it 
becomes them to live like his disciples; and if they 
do not, what a sad account must they give of their 
stewardship ! 


" I would advise you, as much as possible, in your 
present circumstances, to throw your business into a 
certain method, by which means you will learn to im- 
prove every precious moment, and find an unspeakable 
facility in the performance of your respective duties. 
Begin and end the day with Him who is the Alpha and 
Omega ; and if you really experience what it is to love 
God, you will redeem all the time you can for his more 
immediate service. I will tell you what rule I used to 
observe when I was in my father's house, and had as 
little, if not less liberty than you have now. I used to 
allow myself as much time for recreation as I spent in 
private devotion ; not that I always spent so much, but 
I gave myself leave to go so far, but no farther. So in 
all things else ; appoint so much time for sleep, eating, 
company, &c. But above all things, my dear Sammy, I 
command you, I beg, I beseech you, to be very strict in 
observing the Lord's day. In all things endeavour to 
act upon principle, and do not live like the rest of man- 
kind, who pass through the world like straws upon a 
river, which are carried which way the stream or wind 
drives them. Often put this question to yourself, Why 
do I this or that ? Why do I pray, read, study, or use 
devotion, &c. ? By which means you will come to such 
a steadiness and consistency in your words and actions 
as becomes a reasonable creature, and a good Christian." 

Such a mother at the head of a numerous family Avas 
a public blessing. I have before observed that Method- 
ism is under the highest obligations to this excellent 
woman ; and the extent of the obligations to the mother 
has not yet been duly estimated by the followers of the 



About* this time an accident occurred, which, with 
the total destruction of the Parsonage-house at Epworth, 
and all the family property, had nearly proved fatal to 
the family itself, the whole of which had been saved 
almost by miracle. The fire (of which we shall see a 
particular account when we come to the life of Mr. John 
Wesley) took place on February 9, 1709. Samuel, 
who was then at Westminster School, had received only 
a confused account of this catastrophe : and, among 
other inaccurate intelligence, had heard that one of the 
children was either lost or had perished in the flames. 
On this occasion he wrote the following letter to his 
mother, which marks much solicitude and dutiful 

u Madam, 
" Had not my grandmother told me, the last time I 
was there, that you were near lying-in, at which time 
I thought it would be in vain to write what you would 
not be able to read, I had sent you letters over and over 
again before this. I beg, therefore, you would not im- 
pute it to any negligence, which sure I never can be 
guilty of, while I enjoy what you gave me — life. My 
father lets me be in profound ignorance as to your cir- 
cumstances at Epworth; and I have not heard a word 
from the country since the first letter you sent me after 
the fire, so that I am quite ashamed to go to any of my 
relations, for fear of being jeered out of my life. They 
ask me whether my father intends to leave Epworth? 
whether he is rebuilding his house? whether any con- 
tributions are to be expected ? what was the lost child, a 
boy or a girl ? what was its name ? whether my father 
has lost all his books and papers ? if nothing was saved ? 


To all of which I am forced to answer, I can't tell — I 
don't know — I have not heard. I have asked my father 
some of these questions, hut am still an ignoramus. 
If you think my Cowley and Hudibras worth accept- 
ing, I shall he very glad to send them to my mother, 
who gave them me. I hope you are all well, as all are 
in town. 

" Your most affectionate Son, 

" Sam. Wesley." 
" June 9, St. Peter's Coll. Westminster." 

As he had the reputation of being a good and accurate 
scholar, he was taken occasionally by Dr. Thomas Sprat, 
Bishop of Rochester, and one of the Prebends of West- 
minster, to read to him in the evenings at his seat at 
Bromley, in Kent. Bishop Sprat had at that time the 
reputation of being one of the first scholars in England, 
learned in almost all arts and sciences, and a poet of the 
first order. To almost any young man of learning and 
genius the friendship and conversation of such a person 
as Bishop Sprat would have been invaluable. But 
Mr. Wesley was so intent on his own classical studies, 
and withal short-sighted, and of a feeble voice, that he 
esteemed this service rather as a bondage than a privi- 
lege. The Bishop's studies were nothing similar to his 
own; and he considered the time he was obliged to 
spend at Bromley as totally lost. From this place he 
wrote a Latin letter to his father, Aug. 1710 full of 
complaints, but ill justified by their cause. Dr. White- 
head has preserved a fragment, which I shall transcribe. 
Speaking of the Bishop, he says, — 

" Ille mihi et in sacris, et in profanis rebus semper erit 
infestissimus : studia enim intermitti cogit, quibus pro 


virili inoubueram. Ultimo anno in Collegio agendo, ubi 
non mihi seniori opus est amicorum hospitio, a studiis 
et a scbola me detraxit, non modo nullam ad utilitatem 
sed ne ad minimam quidem vel utilitatis vel voluptatis 
speciem me vocavit. Ipse hodie foras est, aliter vix 
otium foret quo has scriberem. Me ex omnibus disci- 
pulis elegit ut perlegerum ei noctu libros : me raucum, 
me fivwra. Gaudeo vos valetudine bona frui. Tuam et 
maternam benedictionam oro. Episcopus jussit me illius 
in literis mentionem facere. Da veniam subitis. Aviam 
ultimis festis vidi ; his venientibus non possum, quia ab 
inimico amico detineor." 

" He (the Bishop) will always be exceedingly trouble- 
some to me both in sacred and profane learning ; for he 
obliges me to interrupt those studies to which I had 
applied myself with all my might. Spending my last 
year in this college, where, being a senior, I do not need 
the hospitality of friends, he has taken me away both 
from my studies, and from school, not only without any 
benefit, but without even the appearance either of utility 
or pleasure. To-day he is from home, else I should not 
have had time to write this letter. He chose me from 
all the scholars ; me, who am both hoarse and short- 
sighted, to read books to him by night ! I am glad that 
you enjoy good health. I beg yours and my mothers 
blessing. I saw my grandmother* in the last holidays: 
in those that are approaching I cannot, because I am 
detained by an unfriendly friend." 

* The grandmother whom he mentions here was the widow of 
John Wesley, A. M., of Whitchurch, and niece of Dr. Thomas 
Fuller. See some account of this eminent historian and divine, in 
the Life of the Rev. J. Wesley, vicar of Whitchurch. 


Mr. Wesley was but young at this time, and might 
be said to have scarcely finished his common school ex- 
ercises. He had hitherto conversed merely with school 
books, and had not read those authors by whose assist- 
ance he might have formed and ornamented his style : 
hence his Latinity in the preceding letter, though gram- 
matically correct, is that of a school-boy who translates 
Latin into English, being governed simply by the idiom 
and phraseology of his mother tongue. He was now about 
twenty years of age, and was only beginning to study 
the Greek and Latin authors critically, and to relish 
their beauties. His Latin compositions, both in prose 
and verse, which were the fruits of his maturer age, 
show how solidly he had built on the good foundation 
which was laid at Westminster school. 

That he retained both at Westminster and Oxford the 
good impressions he had received from his religious edu- 
cation, there is abundant proof. In December, 1710, he 
wrote to his mother. The following extract from his 
letter gives, as Dr. Whitehead justly observes, a pleasing 
view of his simplicity, and of his serious attention to the 
state of his own heart, and the first motions of evil. 

" I received the sacrament (says he) the first Sunday 
of this month. I am unstable as water : I frequently 
make good resolutions, and keep them for a time ; and 
then grow weary of restraint. I have one grand failing, 
which is, that having done my duty, I undervalue others ; 
and think what wretches the rest of the college are, com- 
pared with me ! Sometimes in my relapses I cry out, 
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, and the leopard 
his spots? then may you also do good who are accus- 
tomed to do evil." But I answer again, "With men 



this is impossible ; but with God all things are possible. 

Mrs. Wesley answered this letter in the same month. 
J shall lay the whole of her excellent letter before the 

" Thursday, Bee. 28, [1710.] 
" Dear Sammy, 

" I am much better pleased with the beginning of your 
letter than with what you used to send me ; for I do not 
love distance or ceremony : there is more of love and 
tenderness in the name of mother than in all the com- 
plimental titles in the world. 

" I intend to write to your father about your coming 
down ; but yet it would not be amiss for you to speak 
of it too. Perhaps our united desires may sooner pre- 
vail upon him to grant our request ; tho' I do not think 
he will be averse from it at all. 

" I am heartily glad that you have already received, 
and that you design again to receive, the holy sacra- 
ment ; for there is nothing more proper or effectual for 
the strengthening and refreshing the mind than the fre- 
quent partaking of that blessed ordinance. 

" You complain that you are unstable and inconstant 
in the ways of virtue. Alas ! what Christian is not so 
too ? I am sure that I, above all others, am most unfit 
to advise in such a case ; yet, since I cannot but speak 
something, since I love you as my own soul, I will en- 
deavour to do as well as I can ; and, perhaps, while I 
write I may learn, and by instructing you I may teach 

" First. Endeavour to get as deep an impression on 
your mind as is possible, of the awful and constant pre- 


sence of the great and holy God. Consider frequently, 
that wherever you are, or whatever you are about, he 
always adverts to your thoughts and actions, in order to 
a future retribution. He is about our beds, and about 
our paths, and spies out all our ways; and whenever 
you are tempted to the commission of any sin, or the 
omission of any duty, make a pause, and say to your- 
self, — "What am I about to do ? God sees me ! Is this 
my avowed faithfulness to my Creator, Redeemer, and 
Sanctifier? Have I so soon forgot that the vows of 
God are upon me ? Was it easier for the eternal Son 
of God to die for me, than it is for me to remember 
him? For what end came he into the world, but to 
satisfy the justice of God for us, and to reconcile us to 
God, and to plant good life among men in order to their 
eternal salvation ? What ! cannot I watch one hour with 
that Jesus who veiled his native glory with our nature, 
and condescended so low as to make himself of no repu- 
tation, by putting on the form of a servant, that he 
might be capable of conferring the greatest benefit upon 
us that man could receive, by his suffering such a shame- 
ful and cursed death upon the cross for our redemption ? 
O Sammy, think but often and seriously on Jesus 
Christ, and you will experience what it is to have the 
heart purified by faith. 

" Secondly. Consider often of that exceeding and 
eternal weight of glory that is prepared for those who 
persevere in the paths of virtue. ' Eye hath not seen, 
nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man 
to conceive, what God hath prepared for such as love 
and serve him faithfully.' And when you have so long 
thought on this that you find your mind affected with it, 
then turn your view upon this present world, and see 
what vain inconsiderable trifles you practically prefer 




before a solid,. rational, permanent state of everlasting 
tranquillity. Could we but once attain to a strong and 
lively sense of spiritual things, could we often abstract 
our minds from corporeal objects, and fix them on hea- 
ven, we should not waver and be so inconstant as we 
are in matters of the greatest moment; but the soul 
would be naturally aspiring towards a union with God, 
as the flame ascends ; for He alone is the proper centre 
of the mind, and it is only the weight of our corrupt 
nature that retards its motions towards him. 

" Thirdly. Meditate often and seriously on the short- 
ness, uncertainty, and vanity of this present state of 
things. Alas ! had we all that the most ambitious craving 
souls can desire ; were we actually possessed of all the 
honour, wealth, strength, beauty, &c. that our carnal 
minds can fancy or delight in ; what would it signify if 
God should say unto us, ' Thou fool, this night shall 
thy soul be required of thee V Look back upon your 
past hours, and tell me which of them afford you the 
most pleasing prospect ; whether- those spent in play or 
vanity, or those few that were employed in the service 
of God ? Have you not, in your short experience, often 
found Solomons observations on the world very true? 
Has not a great part of your little life proved, on reflec- 
tion, nothing but vanity and vexation of spirit ? How 
many persons on a death -bed have bitterly bewailed the 
sins of their past life, and made large promises of amend- 
ment if it would have pleased God to have spared them ; 
but none that ever lived, or died, repented of a course of 
piety and virtue. Then, why should you not improve 
the experience of those who have gone before you, and 
your own also, to your advantage ? And since it is past 
dispute that the ways of virtue are infinitely better than 
the practice of vice, and that life is only short at best, 


and uncertain, and that this little portion of time is all 
we have for working out our salvation ; — for as the tree 
falls, so it must lie ; as death leaves us, judgment will 
)ertainly find us ; — have a good courage — eternity is at 
hand. Lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so 
easily beset you ; and run with patience and vigour the 
race which is set before you : and if at any time present 
objects should make so great an impression on your 
senses as to endanger the alienating your mind from the 
spiritual life, then look up to Jesus, the author and 
finisher of our faith, and humbly beseech him, that since 
he for our sake suffered himself to be under the state of 
temptation, he would please to succour you when you 
are tempted ; and in his strength you will find yourself 
enabled to encounter your spiritual enemies ; nay, you 
will be more than a conqueror through him who hath 
loved us. 

" I am sorry that you lie under a necessity of con- 
versing with those that are none of the best : but we 
must take the world as we find it, since it is a happiness 
permitted to very few to choose their company. Yet, 
lest the comparing yourself with others that are worse 
may be an occasion of your falling into too much vanity, 
you would do well, sometimes, to entertain such thoughts 
as these : — ■ 

" ' Though I know my own birth and education, and 
am conscious of having had great advantages, yet, how 
little do I know of the circumstances of others ? Per- 
haps their parents were vicious, or did not take early 
care of their minds, to instil the principles of virtue into 
their tender years, but suffered them to follow their own 
inclinations till it was to late to reclaim them. Am I 
sure that they have had as many offers of grace, as many 
and strong impulses of the Holy Spirit, as I have had ? 


Do they §in against as clear conviction as I do ? Or are 
the vows of God upon them, as upon me ? Were they 
so solemnly devoted to him at their birth as I was ?' You 
have had the example of a father who served God from 
his youth ; and, though I cannot commend my own to 
you, for it is too bad to be imitated, yet, surely, earnest 
prayers for many years, and some little good advice, have 
not been wanting. 

" But if, after all, self-love should incline you to par- 
tiality in your own case, seriously consider your own 
many failings, which the world cannot take notice of, 
because they were so private; and if still, upon com- 
parison, you seem better than others are, then ask your- 
self, Who is it that makes you to differ? and let God 
have all the praise, since of ourselves we can do nothing. 
It is he that worketh in us both to will and to do of his 
own good pleasure ; and if at any time you have vainly 
ascribed the glory of any good performance to yourself, 
humble yourself for it before God, and give him the 
glory of his grace for the future. 

" I am straitened for paper and time, therefore must 
conclude. God Almighty bless you, and preserve you 
from all evil. Adieu." 

The next year, 1711, he was elected to Christ's 
Church, Oxford; where his diligence was exemplary, 
and his profiting great. 

The anonymous author of his Life, prefixed to the 
12mo. edition of his Poems, 1743, says, " In both these 
places (Westminster and Oxford) by the sprightliness of 
his compositions, and his remarkable industry, he gained 
a reputation beyond most of his contemporaries, being 
thoroughly and critically skilled in the learned lan- 
guages, and master of the classics, to a degree of perfec- 


tion perhaps not very common in this last mentioned 
society, so justly famous for polite learning. "With these 
qualifications he was sent for, from the university, to 
officiate as one of the ushers in Westminster School ; and 
soon after, under the direction of Bishop Atterbury, then 
dean of Westminster, entered into holy orders. His 
attachment to this unfortunate prelate (who by his con- 
tinual opposition to Sir Robert Walpole's measures became 
obnoxious to the Government, and was at last on frivol- 
ous pretences, whether true or false, banished for life) 
prevented his preferment in the church. And it pro- 
ceeded further; for through this same attachment he 
was prevented from obtaining the vacant chair of Un- 
der-Master in Westminster School; for which he was 
eminently qualified by learning, judgment, habit, and 
experience, after he had officiated as Head Usher for 
about twenty years. It was denied him on the frivolous 
pretence, that he was a married man ! This was to him 
a severe disappointment, as he fully expected the place. 
But though he quitted the school in disgust,* he made a 
very pious use of this dispensation of divine providence, 
as may be seen by the following verses, written on this 
occasion, dated January 22, 1732, and which, I believe, 
have never been published. 

Oppressed, O Lord, in Thee I trust, 

To Thee insulted flee : 
Howe'er in mortals 'tis unjust, 

'Tis righteousness in Thee. 

* That Mr. Wesley was much mortified, cannot for a moment 
be questioned; but that his mortified feelings amounted to " dis- 
gust" will, perhaps, admit of a doubt ; for in the dedication of his 
poems, in 1736, he observes, " Westminster school is a place no 
power on earth can hinder me from loving." Whatever might be 
his feelings with regard to the men, the place at least gave rise to 
many endearing recollections. — Editor. 


To God why should the thankless call 

His blessings to repeat 1 
Why should the unthankful for the small 

Be trusted with the great 1 

To Thee my soul for mercy flies; 

And pardon seeks on high ; 
For earth, its mercy I despise 

And justice I defy. 

Grant me, O Lord, with holier care, 

And worthier Thee, to live ! 
Forgive my foes, and let them dare 

The injured to forgive. 

Thy grace, in death's decisive hour, 

Though undeserved, bestow! 
Oh, then, on me Thy mercies shower, 

And welcome judgment now ! 

These verses fully express the disappointment, its* in- 
justice, and the feelings it produced. As he had reason 
to believe that the ministry was at the bottom of this 
transaction, we need not wonder at the severe epigrams 
with which he assailed the Walpolian administration. 
We shall have occasion to refer to these afterwards. 

While at Oxford, he appears to have entered a good 
deal into biblical criticism; and particularly into the 
controversy excited by Mr. Whiston, who, having la- 
boured himself into the Socinian scheme, endeavoured 
by writing and publishing to support it to the uttermost 
of his power. 

Mr. S. Wesley had written a discourse on the larger 
epistle of Ignatius. This epistle Mr. Whiston had at- 
tacked, as interpolated by the Athanasians; and in his 
" Primitive Christianity Revived" (4 vols. 8vo.), had en- 
deavoured, not only to weaken the evidence of our Lord's 
divinity, but to inundate the church with spurious writ- 
ings which he wished to prove of equal authority with 


those of the New Testament, and necessary to complete 
the canon of the Christian Revelation. 

How these things affected the mind of Mr. Wesley 
may be seen in a letter sent to Robert Nelson, Esq., 
author of the " Fasts and Festivals of the English 
Church," dated Oxford, June 3rd, 1713, when he had 
been about two years at the university. He says, — 

" I hoped long ere this to have perfected, as well as I 
could, my dissertation on Ignatius, and gotten it ready 
for the press, when I came to town this year. But I 
found myself disappointed ; at first, for some months by 
my affairs in the East India house ; and since, "by my 
charity hymns, and other matters. I think I told you 
some time since, that I had laid materials together for a 
second discourse on that subject, directly against Mr. 
Whiston's objections to the shorter and genuine copy of 
Ignatius; whereas my former was chiefly against the 
larger; because I then thought, if that were proved 
interpolated, it would be readily granted that the other 
was the genuine. But having found, when Mr. Whis- 
ton's four volumes came out, that he had in the first of 
them laid together many objections against the shorter 
epistles, I set myself to consider them ; and having now 
got Archbishop Usher, Bishop Pearson, and Dr. Smith 
on that subject, and as carefully as I could perused 
them, I found that many of Mr. Whiston's objections 
were taken from Daille, a few from the writings of the 
Socinians and modern Arians, though most of them from 
his own observations. These latter being new, and 
having not appeared when Bishop Pearson and the 
others wrote, could not be taken notice of then ; and 
being now published in the English language, may 
seduce some well- meaning persons, and persuade them 
that the true Ignatius was of the same opinion with the 



Arians (whereas I am sure he was as far from it as 
light is from darkness), and that the rather, because 
there has been no answer, that I know of, published to 
them, though they were printed in the year 1711. I 
know many are of opinion that it is best still to slight 
him, and take no notice of him. This, I confess, is the 
most easy way ; but cannot tell whether it will be safe 
in respect to the common people, or will tend so much 
to the honour of our church and nation. Of this, how- 
everj I am pretty confident, that I can prove all objec- 
tions, whether general or particular, against the shorter 
copy, to be notoriously false. Such as that, p. 86, 87, 
' That the smaller so frequently calls Christ God ;' which, 
he says, was done to serve the turn of the Athanasians, 
and cannot in reason be supposed to be an omission in 
the larger, but must be an interpolation in the smaller ; 
whereas I find that the smaller calls him God but fifteen 
times, the larger, eighteen ; and if we take in those to 
Antioch and Tarsus, twenty-two times, for an obvious 

" Again, he says, p. 64, ' That serious exhortations to 
practical, especially domestic duties, are in the larger 
only, being to a surprising degree omitted in the small.' 
But I have collected above one hundred instances 
wherein these duties are most pressingly recommended 
in the smaller. But what he labours for most, is to 
prove that the first quotations in Eusebius and others of 
the ancients are agreeable to the larger, not the smaller. 
Whereas on my tracing and comparing them all, as far 
as I have had opportunity, I have found this assertion 
to be a palpable mistake, unless in one quotation from 
the Chronicon Alexandrinum, or Paschale. I would 
gladly see Montfaucon, Causa Marcelli, St. Basil contra 
Marcellum, Observations on Pearson's Vindicias, and 


some good account of the Jewish Sephiroth ; because I 
think the Gnostics, Basilidians, and Yalentinians bor- 
rowed many of their iEons from them, since they have 
the same names ; and this might perhaps give further 
light to the famous 2ITH of Ignatius ; for the clearing 
whereof Bishop Pearson, Dr. Bull, and Grotius have 
so well laboured." 

Mr. Wesley mentions two Dissertations here which 
he had drawn up, and at least made ready for publica- 
tion, on the authenticity of the smaller, and interpo- 
lations of the larger epistles attributed to Ignatius. 
Whether these were ever put to press, I have not been 
able to learn. 

He speaks also of charity hymns, which I have not 
seen; and of his business at the East India House, 
which I suppose was in the affairs of his uncle, Samuel 
Annesley, who was then in the Company's service at 
Surat, as we have already seen in the short memoir of 
his life. 

If Mr. Wesley had any patron, it was Dr. Francis 
Atterbury, Dean of Westminster, and bishop of Roches- 
ter; who succeeded Dr. Thomas Sprat in that see, in 
the year 1713. The disgrace of this prelate blasted all 
his prospects of preferment in the Church. His history 
is so nearly connected with that of Mr. Wesley as to 
render it necessary to say a few words of a man whose 
quarrel with the ministry led to his own banishment, 
and agitated the whole nation. 

Bishop Atterbury was a very high churchman; he 
was Prolocutor in the upper house of convocation, and 
determined in the support of the highest privileges of 
his order. During the rebellion in Scotland, when the 
Pretender's declaration was dispersed in England, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishops in and near 


London, published " A Declaration of their abhorrence 
of the Rebellion ; and an Exhortation to be zealous in 
the discharge of their duties to King George." This 
bishop Atterbury refused to sign, because of certain 
reflections cast on the high-church party in it. This, 
together with his general opposition to the measures of 
ministers, served to lay him under suspicion. In August, 
1722, he was apprehended under an accusation of being 
concerned in a plot in favour of the Pretender, and 
committed to the Tower. A paper which one of the 
messengers who arrested him pretended to have found 
concealed in the bishop's premises, and which the bishop 
protested against as being forged, was the principal 
evidence against him. On the 23d of March, 1723, a 
Toill was brought into the House of Commons, " for in- 
flicting certain pains and penalties on Francis Lord 
Bishop of Rochester." As he reserved his opposition 
to the bilL till it should come before the upper house, 
of which he was a member, it easily passed the Commons ; 
and on the ninth of April it was sent up to the House 
of Lords, and on May the eleventh he was permitted to 
plead for himself. This he did in a masterly speech, in 
which he demonstrated the utter improbability and 
falsity of the accusation. It was in vain. The king 
did not like him, and the ministry were determined on 
his downfal ; he was therefore condemned ; for the bill 
was passed on the 16th by a majority of eighty-three to 
forty-three. On the 27th the king confirmed it; and 
on the 18th of June he was put on board of the Aid- 
borough man of war, and conveyed to Calais under the 
sentence of perpetual banishment. He went afterwards 
to Paris, where he was obliged to live very privately, no 
Englishman being permitted to associate or converse 
with him without a special license from the Secretary 


of State, the fees of whose office were oppressively high. 
He died at Paris, February 15, 1732 ; and his body was 
brought over to England on May 12th following, and 
interred in Westminster Abbey. 

Thus Mr. Wesley lost his chief friend and patron ; 
whose cause, because he considered it the cause of 
truth, he continued invariably to support and vindicate, 
though he was satisfied, from the complexion of the 
times, that this would be an insuperable bar to his pro- 

The following extracts of letters from the bishop 
during his exile will show in what light he was viewed 
by his patron, now no longer able to do him service. 
They were occasioned by that fine poem which Mr. 
Wesley wrote and printed in his collection, on the death 
of Mrs. Morice, his lordship's daughter. 

"April 24, 1730. 
" I have rec d a poem from Mr. Morice, which I must 
be insensible not to thank you for — your elegy upon 
the death of Mrs. Morice. It is what I cannot help, an 
impulse upon me to thank you under my own hand ; to 
express the satisfaction I feel, the approbation I give, 
the envy I bear you, for this good deed and good work. 
As a poet and as a man I thank you, I esteem you." 

" Paris, May 27, 1730. 
" I am obliged to Wesley for what he has written on 
my dear child ; and take it the more kindly, because he 
could not hope for my being ever in a condition to reward 
him. Though if ever I am, I will ; for he has shown an 
invariable regard for me all along, in all circumstances ; 
and much more than some of his acquaintance, who had 
ten times greater obligations." 


" Paris, June 30, 1730. 

" The verses you sent me touched me very nearly ; 
and the Latin in the front of them as much as the 
English that followed.* 

" There are a great many good lines in them ; and 
they are written with as much affection as poetry. They 
came from the heart of the author, and he has a share 
of mine in return ; and if ever I come back to my 
country with honour, he shall find it.' 

This was no mean praise from so great a man, and so 
good a judge. The reflection made by the anonymous 
author of a Sketch of his Life, prefixed to the 12mo. 
edition of his poems, is worthy to be preserved here. 

" It may be thought, and perhaps truly enough, 
that his attachment to this great unfortunate prelate 
hindered him from rising higher in the world : but as it 
was what he always gloried in, so it is obvious to 
remark, that it would be for the credit of human nature 
if such examples were more frequent, and that great 
men did oftener find upon the vicissitudes of fortune 
such firmness and fidelity from those they had obliged." 

Mrs. Morice, on whom this elegy was written, was so 
affected at her father's troubles and disgrace, that she 
sunk into a lingering disorder, from which she never 
recovered. As she found her end approaching, she 
earnestly desired to be taken to France, to have one 
interview with her father before she died. She had her 

Heu ! nunc misero mihi demum 

Exilium infelix ! nunc alte vulnus adactum. 


desire, and survived the interview only a few hours! 
The sorrowful taie is thus pathetically related hy Bishop 
Atterbury, in a letter to Mr. Pope : — 

" The earnest desire of meeting one I dearly loved, 
called me to Montpelier; where, after continuing two 
months under the cruel torture of a sad and fruitless 
expectation, I was forced at last to take a long journey 
to Thoulouse ; and even there I had missed the person I 
sought, had she not with great spirit and courage ven- 
tured all night up the Garonne to see me, which she had 
above all things desired to do before she died. By that 
means she was brought where I was, between seven and 
eight in the morning, and lived twenty hours after- 
wards ; which time was not lost on either side, but 
passed in such a manner as gave great satisfaction to 
both, and such as on her part every way became her 
circumstances and character ; for she had her senses to 
the very last gasp, and exerted them to give me in those 
few hours greater marks of duty and love than she had 
done in all her life-time, though she had never been 
wanting in either. The last words she said to me were 
the kindest of all ; a reflection on ' the goodness of God, 
which had allowed us in this manner to meet once more 
before we parted for ever.' Not many minutes after 
that, she laid her head on her pillow in a sleeping 
posture — 

Placidaque ibi demum morte quievit. 

Judge you, Sir, what I felt, and still feel, on this occa- 
sion ; and spare me the trouble of describing it. At my 
age, under my infirmities, among utter strangers, how 
shall I find out proper reliefs and supports ? I can have 
none but those which reason and religion furnish me ; 


and those I hold on as fast as I can. I hope that He 
who laid the hurden upon me, for wise and good pur- 
poses no douht, will enable me to bear it." 

Mrs. Morice died in 1729, and it was supposed that 
her dissolution hastened that of her persecuted father. 
All the preceding circumstances are admirably wrought 
up in the elegy mentioned above. 

"When all things are considered, we need not wonder 
at the severity of the following epigrams, with which 
Mr. "Wesley assailed Sir Robert "Walpole and his friends : 

When patriots sent a bishop cross the seas, 

They met to fix the pains and penalties ; 

While true-blue blood-hounds on his death were bent, 

Thy mercy, W alpole, voted banishment ! 

Or, forced thy sovereign's orders to perform, 

Or proud to govern, as to raise the storm, 

Thy goodness, shown in such a dangerous day 

He only who received it can repay : 

Thou never justly recompensed canst be, 

Till banished Francis do the same for thee. 

Tho' some would give Sir Bob no quarter, 

But long to hang him in his garter ; 

Yet sure he will deserve to have 

Such mercy as in power he gave 

Send him abroad to take his ease, 

By act of pains and penalties : 

But if he e'er comes here again, 

Law, take thy course, and hang him then. 

Four shillings in the pound we see. 

And well may rest contented. 
Since war, Bob swore't should never be, 

Is happily prevented. 


But he, now absolute become, 

May plunder every penny ; 
Then blame him not for taking some, 

But thank for leaving any. 

Let H his treasure now confess, 

Displayed to every eye : 
'Twas base in H to sell a peaGe, 

But great in Bob to buy. 

Which most promotes Great Britain's gain 

To all mankind is clear ; 
One sends our treasure 'cross the main 

One brings the foreign here. 

But if 'tis fit to give rewards 

Or punishments to either, 
Why, make them both together lords, 

Or hang them both together. 

At scribblers poor, who rail to eat, 

Ye wags give over jeering ; 
Since, galled by Harry, Bob the Great 

Has stooped to pamphleteering. 

Would not one champion on his side 

For love or money venture 1 
Must knighthood's mirror, spite of pride. 

So mean a combat enter ? 

To take the field his weakness shows, 
Though well he could maintain it ; 

Since H no honour has to lose, 

Pray how can Robin gain it ? 

Worthy each other are the two : 
Halloo, boys ! fairly start ye ; 

Let those be hated worse than you 
Whoever strive to part ye. 


A steward once, the Scripture says, 
When ordered his accounts to pass, 
To gain his master's debtors o'er, 
Cried, For a hundred write fourscore. 
Near as he could, Sir Robert, bent 
To follow gospel precedent, 
When told a hundred late would do, 
Cried, I beseech you, Sir, take two. 
In merit which should we prefer, 
The steward or the treasurer? 
Neither for justice cared a fig ; 
Too proud to beg, too old to dig ; 
Both bountiful themselves have shown, 
In things that never were their own : 
But here a difference we must grant, 
One robbed the rich to keep off want ; 
T' other, vast treasures to secure, 
Stole from the public and the poor. 

Among the family papers a Latin ode has been found, 
with its translation, both by Mr. Wesley, and on the 
same subject. As I believe these have never been pub- 
lished, I shall insert them also : — 


Juxta quiescit, credite Posteri ! 
Contemptor auri, propositi tenax 
Risusque, vir severus, aeque 
Dedecoris, Decorisque risor. 

Quern nee Popelli nee Procerum favor 
Perstrinxit unquam, quern neque percutit 
Famaeve mendacis susurrus, 
Vel fremitus minitantis aulas. 

Cura solutus, Rege beatior ; 
Motus per omnes invariabilis ; 
Amicus Harlsei cadentis, 
W i dominantis hostis. 


Annam parentem qui patriae ratus, 
Semperque eandem, semper amabilem ; 
Solvebit extinctae perennem, 
Parva, licet pia dona, laudem. 

Non exulantis Praesulis immemor, 
Qui lege lata, fugerat Angliam, 
Utraque fortuna probati 

Patris amans, et amatus illi. 

Quos sprevit omnes, tutus ab hostibus, 
Hie dormit infra, nee cineri nocet, 
Sen, Lector, irredere malis 
Seu tetricam caperare frontem. 

S. Wesley. 


A man who slighted gold lies here ; 

True to his laughter and his aim ; 
Yet even in his mirth severe, 

He laughed at glory and at shame. 

Who counted vulgar favour light, 
And smiles of Lords ; who held as sport 

The whispers of defaming spite, 
The thunder of a threatening court. 

Stranger to care, than kings more blest, 

Unmoved however parties go ; 
A friend to Harley in distress, 

To Walpole, when in power, a foe. 

Who Anne (her country's parent) thought 

Still, lovely princess ! still the same ; 
And praises to her ashes brought, 

An humble offering to her fame. 

Not mindless of the prelate great, 

By statute sent across the main ; 
A father, tried in either state, 

He loved, and was beloved again. 

Safe from the foes he ne'er could fear. 

Unhurt in dust he lays him down ; 
Whether you praise him with a sneer, 

Or sourly blame him with a frown. 


The fourth stanza relates to " Lines on the death of 
Queen Anne," which will be found at the end of this 
Memoir; and the fifth, to Bishop Atterbury. Both 
copies are in Mr. Wesley's own hand-writing, and un- 
doubtedly were of his own composing. 

The Bishop himself was not less severe on his per- 
secutor than his friend Mr. S. Wesley was. Witness 
the following lines " On Sir Robert Walpole, by Bishop 
Atterbury :" 

Three Frenchmen, grateful in their way, 
Sir Robert's glory would display. 
Studious by sister arts to advance 
The honour of a friend to France ; 
They consecrate to Walpole's fame 
Picture, and verse, and anagram. 
With mottos quaint the print they dress, 
With snakes, with rocks, with goddesses. 
Their lines beneath the subject fit, 
As well for quantity as wit. 
Thy glory, Walpole, thus enrolled, 
E'en foes delighted may behold. 
For ever sacred be to thee, 
Such sculpture, and such poetry ! 

" It is not a little to Mr. Wesley's honour that he was 
one of the projectors, and a careful and active promoter, 
of the first Infirmary set up at Westminster, for the 
relief of the sick and needy, in the year 1719 ; and he 
had the satisfaction to see it greatly flourish from a very 
small beginning, and to propagate by its example, under 
the prudent management of other good persons, many 
pious establishments of the same kind in distant parts of 
the nation." — Account of Mr. S. Wesley, by a Friend. 

Among Mr. S. Wesley's letters I find one to his bro- 
ther John, which contains some curious family matters • 


particularly respecting a project of the latter to draw the 
character of every branch of the family, the commence- 
ment of which he had submitted to his brother for his 
approbation. Whether this project was ever completed 
I cannot tell ; or if so, whether the document exists ; if 
it do, it is not in any place to which I haye had access. 

" Deans-yard, Nov. 18, 1727- 
" Dear Jack, 

" I am obliged to you for the beginning of the por- 
trait of our family ; how I may judge when I see the 
whole, though I may guess nearly within myself, I cannot 
positively affirm to you. There is, I think, not above 
one particular in all the character which you have drawn 
at length that needs further explanation ; when you say 
you can bring ear-witnesses to attest, whether that at- 
testation relates only to — money sent — or to that bed. 
That bed too ? — Jealousy naturally increases with age, 
of which I think one of the best uses we can make 
is, to guard against it betimes, before the habit grows 

" I hope your being in the country, as it is some in- 
convenience to you, so it will be a considerable help one 
way or other to friends at Wroote, else I shall be tempted 
to wish you at Oxford ; as I heartily do my brother 
Charles, though it is too late to tell him so now, since 
he cannot possibly save this term unless he be there 

" You send me no account of your negociation with 
the Dean for his absence ; but I don't blame you, since 
you filled every corner of your own paper with much 
more important matters than anything his lordship can 
say or do, even though Charles's studentship were to 
depend upon it, as I hope it will not. 


" I h<fpe I shall send a letter with your receipt and 
certificate this evening ; and with orders once more to 
inquire of Mr. Tooke whether he has asked you leave 
to be absent the greater part of the quarter, or the 
whole, as it may happen. 

" My wife and I join in love and duty, and beg my 
father s and mothers blessing. I would to God they 
were as easy in one another, and as little uneasy in their 
fortunes, as we are ! In that sense perhaps you may say, 
I am Tydides wielior patris ; though I believe there is 
scarce more work to be done at Wroote than here, though 
we have fewer debts to discharge. Next Christmas I 
hope to be as clear as I have hoped to be these seven 
years. Charles is, I think, in debt for a letter ; but I 
don't desire he should imagine it discharged by setting 
his name in your letter, or interlining a word or two. I 
must conclude, because my paper is done, and company 
come in. 

" I am, 

" Your affectionate Friend and Brother. 

" S. Wesley.' 

What all this letter relates to will be best seen by 
other parts of the general history. 

Mr. Wesley being disappointed of the under-master- 
ship at Westminster, to which he had every kind of title, 
we need not wonder that Dean's-yard could no longer 
have attractions for him. His health in it had been 
greatly impaired by a conscientious and rigorous fulfil- 
ment of his duties, and by his close and intense study ; 
he was therefore the more easily persuaded to accept a 
situation in the country. 

About the year 1732, there happened to be a vacancy 
in the head-mastership of the free-school at Tiverton in 


Devonshire. Without any solicitation on his part, he 
was invited thither. He accepted it, and held the situ- 
ation till his death. 

This school was founded by Mr. Peter Blundell, a 
clothier of that town, in 1619 ; who handsomely en- 
dowed it for a master and usher ; and gave two fellow- 
ships and two scholarships to Sidney College, Cambridge, 
and one fellowship and two scholarships to Baliol Col- 
lege, Oxford, for scholars here educated. The founder of 
this institution Mr. Wesley has commemorated in the 
following lines : — 



Famam extendere factis, 

Hoc virtutis opus. 

Exempt from sordid and ambitious views, 
Blest with the art to gain, and heart to use, 
Not satisfied with life's poor span alone, 
Blundell through ages sends his blessings down. 
Since worth to raise, and learning to support, 
A patriarch's lifetime had appeared too short ; 
While letters gain esteem in wisdom's eyes, 
Till justice is extinct, and mercy dies 
His alms perpetual, not by time confined, 
Last with the world, and end but with mankind. 

Mr. S. Wesley having correct information (much of 
it gained on the spot in a hasty visit to the University) 
of the extraordinary labours of his brothers, John and 
Charles, with their once fervent coadjutor, Mr. Morgan, 
in visiting the prisoners, relieving the sick, instructing 
the ignorant, and rendering themselves patterns of a 
strictly holy life and uncommon self-denial, wrote a 
poetic epistle to his brother Charles, then at Christ's 


Church, ^Oxford, encouraging them to go on, and en- 
deavouring to guard them against such excess of labour 
as might be injurious to health and life. This epistle, 
which appears to have been written April 20, 1732, 
deserves, for its piety, and the strong fraternal affection 
manifested in it, to be recorded here ; and particularly 
as it has not yet been given entire in any of the pub- 
lications I have seen : — 

" Though neither are o'erstocked with precious time— 

If I can write it, you can read my rhyme : 

And find an hour to answer, I suppose, 

In verse harmonious, or in humble prose, 

What I, when late at Oxford, could not say, 

My friends so numerous, and so short my stay. 

Let useless questions first aside he thrown, 

Which all men may reply to, or that none : 

As whether doctors doubt the D will die. 

Or F still retains his courtesy ? 

Or I n dies daily in conceit, — 

Dies without death, and walks without his feet > 
What time the library completes its shell ? 
What hand revives the discipline of Fell 1 
What house for learning shall rewards prepare, 
Which orators and poets justly share, 
And see a second Atterbury there 1 

Say, does your Christian purpose still proceed 
To assist, in every shape, the wretch's need 1 
To free the prisoner from his anxious jail, 
When friends forsake him, and relations fail ? 
Or yet, with nobler charity conspire, 
To snatch the guilty from eternal fire ? 
Has your small squadron firm in trial stood, 
Without preciseness, singularly good 1 
Safe march they on, 'twixt dangerous extremes 
Of mad profaneness, and enthusiasts' dreams ? 
Constant in prayer, while God approves their pains, 
His Spirit cheers them, and his blood sustains ! 


Unmoved by pride or anger, can they fear 

The foolish laughter, or the envious fleer ? 

No wonder wicked men blaspheme their care, 

The Devil always dreads offensive war. 

Where heavenly zeal the sons of night pursues, 

Likely to gain, and certain not to lose ; 

The sleeping conscience wakes by dangers near. 

And pours the light in, they so greatly fear. 

But hold ! perhaps this dry religious toil 

May damp the genius, and the scholar spoil ! 

Perhaps facetious foes to meddling fools 

Shine in the class, and sparkle in the schools 

Your arts excel, your eloquence outgo ; 

And soar like Virgil, or like Tally flow ! 

Have brightest curns and deepest learning shown, 

And proved your wit mistaken by their own 1 

If not, the wights should moderately rail, 

Whose total merit, summed from fair detail, 

Is, sauntering, sleep, and smoke, and wine, and ale ! 

How contraries may meet without design ! 

And pretty gentlemen and bigots join ! 

A pert young rake observes, with haughty airs, 

That " none can know the world who say their prayers :' 

And Rome, in middle ages, used to grant, 

The most devout were still most ignorant. 

So when old bloodv Noll our ruin wrought, 

Was ignorance the best devotion thought. 

His crop-haired saints all marks of sense deface, 

And preach that learning is a foe to grace : 

English was spoke in schools, and Latin ceased ; 

They quite reformed the language of the beast. 

One or two questions more, before I end, 
That much concern a brother and a friend. 
Does John beyond his strength presume to go, 
To his frail carcase, literally a foe 1 
Lavish of health, as if in haste to die, 
And shorten time to ensure eternity 1 
Does Morgan weakly think his time mispent? 
Of his best actions can he now repent ? 


Others, their sins with reason j list deplore, 
The guilt remaining', when the pleasure's o'er : 
Shall he for virtue first himself upbraid, 
Since the foundation of the world was laid 1 
Shall he (what most men to their sins deny) 
Show pain for alms, remorse for piety 1 
Can he the sacred eucharist decline ] 
What Clement poisons here the bread and wine 1 
Or does his sad disease possess him whole. 
And taint alike the body and the soul 1 
If to renounce his graces he decree, 
Oh that he could transfer the stroke to me ! 
Alas ! enough what mortal e'er can do 
For Him that made him, and redeemed him too 1 
Zeal may to man, beyond desert, be showed ; 
No supererogation stands with God. 
Does earth grow fairer to his parting eye ? 
Is heaven less lovely, as it seems more nigh 1 
Oh, wondrous preparation this — to die ! 

The unhappy case of Mr. Morgan, who, naturally 
weak, fell into a state of morbid melancholy, has been 
mentioned by most of Mr. John Wesley's biographers. 
The whole case, in original letters that passed between 
Mr. Wesley and Mr. Morgans father, lies before me; 
but this is not the place to introduce it. Through his 
natural weakness he ran into many extravagances which 
his friend and tutor, Mr. John Wesley, did every thing 
in his power to guard him against ; but all in vain. He 
fell, as might have been expected, an early victim, not to 
enthusiasm, but to morbid melancholy. 

As to the conduct of his brothers, in visiting the sick, 
&c, Mr. S. Wesley approved of it most highly, and 
Avould have done so invariably had not his mind become 
warped on some doctrinal and other points afterwards. 

Two or three extracts from letters which passed be- 


tween Samuel and his brother John about this time, 
embrace some excellent sentiments : — 

Sept. I9tk, 1730. 
" Dear Brother, 

" Your question, concerning the eternity of hell tor- 
ments, may do me good in considering it, if not you in 
my answering ; and therefore I would not have you be 
sparing on such occasions, provided you always remem- 
ber how much it has lain out of my way to study. 

"LI own I think the similis ratio seems not strong 
enough to bear the weight of infinite punishment ; yet, 
though the argument from thence be metaphysical, 'I 
know not how to answer it. If offences rise in guilt in 
proportion to the dignity of the person offended, shall 
we only deny it when against God ? Or, because he is 
infinite, must there be no proportion, which there unde- 
niably is in all other cases ? 

" 2. Necessity of nature I think much stronger, and, 
indeed, sufficient to make the scale even, at least, if not 
to cast it. Every fault is not only in some sort, but in 
fact, infinite ; that is, in duration : for guilt is indelible 
without atonement, as men have formerly universally 
acknowledged ; which appears by their expiatory sacri- 

" There is no regard, even in human punishments, to 
the continuance of suffering, or at least no proportion 
ever aimed at between the duration of the crime and of 
the punishment. A thief at fifty shall have ten years 
of life cut off for a felony done in a quarter of an hour, 
and a thief at twenty shall lose twenty or thirty years 
for a less theft. I own Draco's excuse comes in here : 
That the least deserved death, and he had no farther 
punishment for the greatest crime ; yet still this shows 



there is ft difference allowed between the two, merely 
because their punishments would be of a different 
length ; which is of no concern to the lawgiver, though 
of very great to the offender. 

" But there is one consideration which I think of 
great weight. Supposing it unjust to punish a short life 
of sin with eternal torments, it does not follow that 
eternal punishments are unjust in another world, because 
this short life is not the only ground of that punishment, 
since there is repetition of sin to all eternity, which 
must necessarily occasion repetition of sufferings. There 
is no preventing grace to hinder it beforehand, and no 
propitiation to atone for it afterwards. 

" 3. I own, I think immortality of both kinds was 
brought to light by the gospel, and therefore that natural 
reason is no further concerned, than to clear it from 
contradiction. The worm we may find out even by that 
reason ; though revelation shows us the fire which is not 
quenched. Indeed, it is very remarkable in Virgil, that 
he puts an end to the joys of Elysium, but not to the 
torments of Tartarus. To those who do or may embrace 
the gospel, choice seems to be clear ; and as for others, 
we have a general rule. Only we may argue, that as in 
heaven there are many mansions, so there are in hell 
likewise : and he who knew not his Lord's will shall be 
beaten with few (that is, comparatively few) stripes. 

" I am, 
" Your affectionate friend and brother, 

" S. Wesley." 

From the same. 
" Dear Brother, 
" I think you are now in that state, wherein he who 
is not for you is against you. The interrupting your 


meeting is, doubtless, in order to letting it alone for 
good ; and although I do not know how often you met 
together, yet I would rather straiten than slacken the 
string now, if it might he without breaking. I cannot 
say I thought you always in everything right ; but I 
must now say, Rather than you and Charles should give 
over your whole course, especially what relates to the 
castle, I would choose to follow either of you, nay, both 
of you, to your graves. I cannot advise you better than 
in the words I proposed for a motto to a pamphlet, 2r5j^ 
idguTog ojg utc/JjOjv rv<rr6f/,zvog, xaXou yag a^X^rou ds^ai 
-/tat vix&v, "Stand thou stedfast as a beaten anvil; for it 
is the part of a good champion to be flayed alive, and to 

From the same. 
" Dear Brother, 
" Your last letter affected me much. I find by the 
very way of pronouncing, that you are not yet in a con- 
sumption, though there is apprehension and danger of 
your being so. Your life is of benefit and consequence 
to the* world ; and I would therefore willingly, for the 
sake of others, draw your days out to their utmost date. 
For yourself, indeed, the matter is not much, if you go 
well, whensoever called ; as I don't question but you 
will. As to any faults I have to tell you of, I think 
you know already all I say and all I think too upon 
that subject. The main is what I have often repeated — 
Your soul is too great for your body; your watching 
and intention of thought for a long time ; your speaking 
often and long, when wearied : in short, your spirit, 
though in a better sense than Dryden meant it, ' o'er- 
informs its tenement of clay.' " 



In the # year 1733, having solicited his brother John to 
stand godfather for one of Mrs. Wright's children, and 
receiving a refusal, on the ground that it would he im- 
possible for him to discharge the duties imposed on him 
in accepting that office, &c, he wrote again, pressing 
the subject. From this letter I shall make the following 
extract, as it is highly characteristic of the man, and his 
summary mode of reasoning. 

" Your reasons for not standing for Hetty's 

child are good ; and yet were they as good again, there 
is one against them that would make them good for 
nothing, viz., the child will hardly be christened at all, 
unless you and I stand. E malts minimum. The charge 
need not fright, for I'll lay down. Tell me as soon as 
you can your answer to this paragraph. Some in John- 
son's hold the matter to be indifferent, and so excuse 
themselves. I'll find a representative for you, as well 
as pence, if you do but give me my commission. Write 

" I am, dear J., 

" Your affectionate, &c, 

June 21, 1733. 

As the affairs of Georgia are in a certain way con- 
nected with all the branches of the Wesley family, it 
will be necessary here to give some account of that set- 

Georgia is the most southern of the United States of 
America ; bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, 
on the south by the Floridas, on the west by the Mis- 
sissippi, and on the north-east and north by South 


Carolina and Tenesse. The settlement of a colony there 
was first proposed in 1732, for the accommodation of 
poor people in Great Britain and Ireland, by several 
very humane and opulent men; and king George II. 
granted them letters patent, June 9, 1732, for legally 
carrying into execution their benevolent design; and 
the place was called Georgia in honour of the British 
king. In November, 1732, one hundred and sixteen 
settlers embarked for that colony, under the superin- 
tendence of Mr. James Oglethorpe, who chose Savannah 
for the place of settlement, where he built a fort, &c. 
Three years afterwards, Mr. Oglethorpe, having returned 
to England, re-embarked with five hundred and seventy 
adventurers, among whom were one hundred and thirty 
Highlanders, and one hundred and seventy Germans. 

As a singular curiosity, I insert a list of the whole 
ship's crew and passengers, with their respective ages, 
written by Mr. "Wesley, by which we may see who were 
his first companions, and the objects of his ministerial 
labours. With this list, I should gladly insert General 
Oglethorpe's original drawings and plans of his infant 
settlement in Georgia, but the engravings would make 
the work too expensive.* 

* List of the ship's crew and passengers that sailed with Messrs. 
John and Charles Wesley from Gravesend, for Georgia, Oct. 14, 
1735, on hoard the ship Symmonds, James Oglethorpe, Esq., 




, Captain. 


. Bailleu 

1, First Mate. 


■ Craig, 

Second Mate. 

Mr. Oglethorpe. 

1. Mr. Dempsey. 

Mr. Johnson. 

Louis De. 

Mr. Pury. 

3. Francis Brooks, 18. 

Mrs. Mackay. 

Alexander Grimaldi, 19. 



As there was an intimacy between Mr. Oglethorpe 
and the Wesley family, he proposed to Mr. John Wesley 
to accompany him as chaplain to the colony, and mis- 

James Billinghurst, 14. 
John Hughes, 14. 

4. Daniel Arthur, 17 
John Brownfield, 21. 

5. David Tannerberger, 39. 
John, his son, 9. 
George Neifer, 20. 
Augustin Neifer, 18. 

6. David Seisburger, 39. 
Rosina, his wife, 39. 

7. Judith Telchigen, 29. 
Catherine Raisdelin, 30. 
Uliana Jeskin, 19. 
David Nickman, 39. 
Adolph Vonshermsdorf, 29. 
Anne Waschin, 50. 

9. Rosina Haverichden, 46. 
Richina Demoulin,, 31. 

10. John Andreas Dover, 27. 
Anna Catharina, his wife. 

11. William Allen, 32. 
Eliz. his wife, 32. 
Frances, daughter of J. 

Hird, 13. 

12. Richard White, 39. 
William Waston, 20. 

13. Samuel Davidson, 35. 
Susanna, his wife, 25. 
Susanna, his daughter, 

7 months. 

Benjamin Goldwire, 14. 
lb. William Heddon, 29. 

John Robinson, 20. 
15. Thomas Hird, 42. 

Grace, his wife, 39. 
Phebe, his daughter, 17. 

16. Mark, his son, 21. 
John, ditto, 12. 
Mr. John Wesley. 
Mr. Charles Wesley. 
Mr. Ingham. 

Mr. Delamotte 

Martha Delgrace, 33. 

Lewis, 8. 

Solomon, 2. 

Sarah Harness, her maid, 20. 

William Taverner, 16. 

Eliz. Wheeler, Mr. Horton's, 

Catharine, Mr. Hawkins's. 

Anne Harris, Mr. Ogle- 

Mary, ditto. 

17. Thomas Proctor, 42. 
Eliza, his wife, 32. 
James, his son. 

18. William, his son. 7\. 
James, his son, 3. 

Susannah, his daughter, 5. 

19. Martha Tackner, 40 

Eliz. Hazle, her daughter, 18. 
John, her son, 12. 

20. Ambrose Tackner, 30. 
Charles Carter, servant to 

the trust, 14. 

21. John Welch, 30. 
Ann, his wife, 26. 
James, his son, 5 



sionary to the Indians ; and he took Mr. Charles Wesley 
as his secretary. It was in company with part of the 
above adventurers that the two brothers, with Mr. Ogle- 

John, his son, 3. 

22. Robert Patterson. 31. 
Mary Patterson, 27. 

23. Samuel Parkins, 33. 
Catherine Parkins, 26. 

24. John Walker, his son, 19. 
Tohn Cooling, Dr. Triffiers, 

Thomas Proctor's son, 16. 

25. Jacob Frank, 31. 
Matthew Spainish, 31. 
John Bainer, 23. 

^6. Matthew Seidbolt, 28. 

Martin Maack, 23. 
27. Gatlieb Demght, 19. 

Jos. Fred. Tusher, 27. 

Michael Meyer, 24. 

Michael Fulmer, 65. 

David Yaach, 25. 

29. William Pennis, 21. 
Thomas Burk, 33. 
Claudius Vandorsten, 33. 
Edmund Sexton, 21. 
William Cooper, 19. 
George Sunderland, 15. 

30. Benjamin Ward, 28. 
Margaret Ward, 21. 

31. Mr. William Horton. 
Mr. Joseph Tanner. 

32. Officers' Cabin. 

33. Francis Moore. 
Mary Moore. 

34. Thomas Hawkins. 
Beata Hawkins. 

35. Richard Lawley. 
Anne Lawley. 


On the Larboard above. 

Samuel Hodgkinson, 34. 

William Moore, 39. 

William Davy, 28. 

John Moncrieff, Mr. John- 

John Smith, Hodgkinson's, 

On the Starboard above. 

William Chance, 10. 

Jo. Cawtry, 10. 

Jo. Cosins, 11. 

George Frazier, Mrs. Mac- 
kay's, 22. 

Walter Foley, Mr. Haw- 
kins's, 29. 

John Smalley,F. Brooks's, 29. 

Thurston Haskar, J. Brown- 
field's, 23. 

William Barbo, 14. 

James Cole, Jo. Robinson's, 

Thos. Clyatt, T. Hird's, 19. 

William Forster, William 

In all, 124 men, women, and children ; of whom 26 were Mo- 
ravians. — See Works, vol. x., p. 424. 


thorpe, embarked on board the Symmonds at Gravesend, 
Oct. 14, 1735, and sailed for Georgia. See Mr. John 
"Wesley's Journal for the full account.* 

So accustomed was Mr. Wesley to do every thing according to 
rule, and to let no circumstance pass unnoticed which he might 
press into his project of being useful to all, that he took the pre- 
ceding list, with all circumstances, that he might be the better able 
to direct his pious endeavours to promote the spiritual good of this 
naval congregation. 

Several of the descendants of those persons may still be in 
existence, to whom this list cannot be unacceptable. Not a few 
of the above are referred to by name in Mr. Wesley's Journals and 

* Though Mr. Wesley has entered largely into the subject of 
his Georgian Mission, there are points of deep and curious interest, 
highly creditable to himself, which he has omitted. The writer 
of this note had the good fortune to meet with the MS. journal of 
Mr. Ingham, a few years ago, which has never yet appeared before 
the world, and in which a number of circumstances are detailed, 
illustrative of the character of the voyage, and of the mission. 
It appears, on a perusal of this document — a copy of which Dr. 
Clarke was anxious to possess, and which he was partly promised 
a little before his death, — 

1. That Mr. Ingham, the companion of Mr. Wesley, kept a 
daily and distinct account of the voyage, the mission, &c. 

2. That the two journalists were not aware of the nature and 
extent of each other's entries. 

3. That the whole of Mr. Wesley's statements have been penned 
with a rigid adherence to truth. 

Mr. Ingham was in some instances exposed to the same censures 
as Mr. Wesley, arising from the native opposition of the human 
heart to truth, which, in fact, gave rise to many of the remarks of 
the latter being opposed by designing men : but without even 
attempting to do it, or knowing the thing itself was necessary, he 
confirms all Mr. Wesley's printed statements, and wipes away all 
the aspersions of his Georgian slanderers. 

4. That John is the hero of his tale ; for though there are warm 


In a work entitled, " A Narrative of the Colony of 
Georgia," printed at Charlestown, South Carolina, 1741, 
12mo., p. 176, the following lines are inserted, from a 
poem, entitled, " Georgia," and verses upon Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe's second voyage to Georgia, published by Rev. 
Samuel Wesley, in 1736. As I have not met with them 
elsewhere, I shall here present them to the reader : — 

" See, where beyond the spacious ocean lies 
A wide waste land, beneath the southern skies ; 
Where kindly suns for ages rolled in vain, 
Nor e'er the vintage saw, or ripening grain ; 
Where all things into wild luxuriance ran, 
And burdened nature asked the aid of man : 
In this sweet climate and prolific soil, 
He bids the eager swain indulge his toil ; 
In free possession to the planter's hand, 
Consigns the rich, uncultivated land. 
Go you, the monarch cries, go settle there. 
Whom Britain from her plenitude can spare : 
Go, your old wonted industry pursue, 
Nor envy Spain the treasures of Peru. 

But not content in council here to join, 

A further labour, Oglethorpe, is thine ; 

In each great deed thou claim'st the foremost part, 

And toil and danger charm thy generous heart : 

But chief for this thy warm affections rise ; 

For, oh ! thou view'st it with a parent's eyes : 

expressions of friendship towards Charles, yet he seems to move 
like one of the subordinate characters of a drama. 

The first entry in the MS. is Oct. 10th, 1735, four days before 
embarkation. Some of the preparatory steps are detailed with 
great minuteness. Mr. Hall, Mr. Wesley's brother-in-law, was to 
have gone out to Georgia with them, together with his wife ; but 
when just on the point of sailing, he wheeled off, and they saw 
him no more. — Editor. 


For tip thou tempt' st the vast tremendous main, 
And floods and storms oppose their threats in vain. 

He comes, whose life, while absent from your view, 
Was one continued ministry for you ; 
For you were laid out all his pains and art, 
Won every will, and softened every heart. 
With what paternal joy shall he relate 
How views its mother isle your little state. 
Think, while he strove your distant coast to gain, 
How oft he sighed, and chid the tedious main ! 
Impatient to survey, by culture graced, 
Your dreary woodland and your rugged waste. 
Fair were the scenes he feigned, the prospects fair ; 
And sure, ye Georgians, all he feigned was there. 
A thousand pleasures crowd into his breast ; 
But one, one mighty thought absorbs the rest. 
And gives me heaven to see, the patriot cries, 
Another Britain in the desert rise. 


With nobler products see thy Georgia teems, 
Cheered with the genial sun's directer beams ; 
There the wild vine to culture learns to yield, 
And purple clusters ripen through the field. 
Now bid thy merchants bring £hy wine no more. 
Or from the Iberian or the Tuscan shore : 
No more they need the Hungarian vineyards drain, 
And France herself may drink her best champaigne, 
Behold ! at last, and in a subject-land, 
Nectar sufficient for thy large demand ; 
Delicious nectar, powerful to improve 
Our hospitable mirth and social love : 
This for thy jovial sons. Nor less the care 
Of thy young province, to oblige the fair ; 
Here tend the silkworm, in the verdant shade, 
The frugal matron and the blooming maid." 


General Oglethorpe, whose name has frequently oc- 
curred in connexion with that of Mr. Wesley, is said to 
have been a brave officer. When he was a young man 
he entered into the Austrian service, and was dining 
one day in company with a number of his brother 
officers, among whom was a French prince of the blood. 
The Frenchman, who sat opposite to Oglethorpe at 
table, looked with an air of contempt upon the British 
youth ; and taking up his glass, drank his health, throw- 
ing at the same time, with a dash of his finger, some 
drops of wine in his face. Oglethorpe coolly replied, 
" That is a fine joke, prince ; but we play it off better 
in my country," and instantly threw his glass of wine in 
the face of his insulter in return. The Gallic prince 
immediately arose, and began to prepare for deeds of 
honour, when the company insisted upon his sitting 
down, as having offered the first insult. 

While John and Charles were in Georgia, Mr. Samuel 
Wesley kept up with them an affectionate and instructive 

To Charles, who began to feel himself out of his place 
by being in Frederica, where he had some most grievous 
crosses to bear, of which he bitterly complained to his 
brother, as well as of that want of regeneration of which 
he was now fully convinced, he wrote the following 
letter : — 

" Tiverton, Devon, Sept. 21, 1736. 
" Dear Charles, 

" To make full amends for my not hearing from you 
at first, I have received four letters from you within 
this month, of each of which according to their dates. 
To that of April 8, Frederica, eight at night, I answer 
thus : — I own the will of God in your being in America, 
that is, the order of his providence : but I do not see 


that it was.the will of God in another sense, as it is the 
rule of your action. Before I confess that, I must hare 
a text either plainly or probably applied. You seem to 
be under severe trials ; and I might, with full as much 
justice, quote, ' Let no man say, when he is tempted, I 
am tempted of God,' as ever you could do, ' He that 
loveth father and mother more than me, is not worthy 
of me.' It was God's will too that I should come hither ; 
— how else am I here ? For who hath resisted his will 
in that sense ? I am in a desert, as well as you, having 
no conversable creature but my wife, till my mother 
came last week ; at which that I am no more grieved, is 
perhaps my fault. Your fearing a cure of souls is no 
argument against your fitness for it, but the contrary 
What ' indelible character means, I do not thoroughly 
understand : but I plainly know what is said of him 
' who putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh back.' 
Your wishing yourself out of the reach of temptation is 
but wishing yourself in heaven. 

" That you had lived eighteen years without God, I 
either do not understand, or I absolutely deny. My 
wife loses none of your love, if repaying it in kind be 
putting it to the right use. 

" To yours of April 28. — ' You repent not of obe- 
dience to divine providence.' I hope not ; and I hope I 
never persuaded you to disobedience. I am sure coming 
back to England will not be looking back from the 
plough, while you can exercise your ministry here. 
Jack's passions, if I know anything of him, never were 
of the same kind as yours. I advised him to go — not 
you ; nor will ever consent to your staying. 

" Never spare unburdening yourself to me : why you 
should have waited even years for that purpose — Jack 
can tell. 


"That 'sister Emily ever retracted her consent' she 
utterly denies, for she says she never gave it. By that 
I see I did no more than was ahsolutely necessary, when 
I used the strongest terms to express my meaning ; lest 
I might have heen brought in for being passive at least ; 
though I never would, should, or could have consented. 

" I own I cannot rejoice in your affliction any more 
than in my own : it is not for the present joyous but 
grievous. God grant a happy end and meeting ! I use 
a holiday, St. Matthew's day, to converse with you. 
Why may not the same man be both publican and 
apostle ! 

" However, if you can get hither, you may keep your 
apostleship, though not your receipt of customs. 

" To yours of May 5. — I heartily wish you joy of the 
danger being over. I would send what you write for ; 
but your next letter gives me hopes of your being here, 
before the cargo could come to you. Allix I had sent 
for to London, before your letters reached me. Law- 
rence I do not altogether approve of, but begin to doubt ; 
though that should be no reason against my sending it. 
What the books are, p. 100, I comprehend not : but I 
suppose they are recommended in some p. 100 I have 
not seen ; perhaps in a journal that was to come to me 
by a safe hand, but has never arrived at all. I wish you 
joy of amor sceleratus habendi. I can say little of Phil, 
but that she wants you. B r Hall's is a black story.* 
There was no great likelihood of his being a favourite 
with me : his tongue is too smooth for my roughness, 
and rather inclines me to suspect than believe. Indeed 

* In the MS. journal of Mr. Ingham, there is a minute of dis- 
approbation, which goes to support the prejudices of Mr. Samuel 
Wesley against Hall. — Editor. 


I little suspected the horrid truth : hut finding him on 
the reserve, I thought he was something like Rivington, 
and feared me as a jester ; which is a sure sign either 
of guilt on the one hand, or pride on the other. It is 
certainly true of that marriage ; it will not and it can- 
not come to good. He is now at a curacy in Wiltshire, 
near Marlbro'. I have no correspondence with Kez : I 
did design it after reading yours ; but the hearing she is 
gone to live with Patty and her husband made me drop 
my design. 

" Yours from Savannah, May 15, is your last and 
best letter, because it brings news that you design to 
come back as soon as you can. The sooner the better, 
say I ; for I know Mr. O. will not leave the place, till, 
he thinks it for the public good so to do. 

" September 28. So long have I been forced to stay 
for time to transcribe (most wretched work), and to go 
on, which is pleasant enough. I have had a sort of a 
ship-journal of Jack's, ending at his being upon the 
coast; but have had nothing of that kind since his 
landing. Glad shall I be of a full and authentic account, 
which I begin to perceive I shall hardly have till I see 

" If Jack will continue Kezzy's allowance, should she 
come hither, she might pay me for her board, which I 
cannot afford to give her, be a great comfort to her 
mother, and avoid the hazard of strong temptations 
either to discontent on the one hand, or what is much 
worse on the other. If this comes to your hand before 
you sail for England, I wish you would bring Jack's re- 
solution upon that point : but except he will engage to 
continue the stipend, I must not take her in ; for I can 
do no more than I can do. Supposing that he intends 
to spend his life in India, which seems most probable, 


why or wherefore should he refuse the fifty-pounds ? If 
he is not poor, does he know none that is ? There ap- 
pears much more danger of pride in refusing it, than 
there can be of avarice in accepting so small a sum. 

" Michaelmas-day. This third time I am come to go 
on with my writing ; but must be somewhat shorter 
than my paper would admit, because of going to church. 
My mother sends her love and blessing to you and Jack ; 
and bids me to tell you she hopes to see you again in 
England, without any danger of a second separation. 

" My wife and I join in love ; and Phil, according to 
her years, in duty. I heartily pray God to prosper you 
in public and private where you are ; and to give you a 
safe voyage back, and a long and happy abode here ! 
" I am, dear Charles, 

" Your most affectionate and faithful 
" friend and brother, 

" Samuel Wesley." 
" Blundell's School, Tiverton, Devon, 
" September 29, 1736. 

" My hearty love and service to Mrs. O — " [^Ogle- 

Mr. Charles Wesley, according to the purpose referred 
to in the preceding letter, sailed from Boston, October 
25, 1736, and landed at Deal on the 31st of December 
following. His brother John continued about a year 
longer; he arrived in England January 30, 1738. Being 
both fervent in spirit, they on their return powerfully 
proclaimed repentance towards God, and faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ ; and strongly insisted on the neces- 
sity of being born again, and of having the witness of 
God's Spirit with theirs, that they were thus born of 
God. At first, all the churches in London were open to 


them ; and the people flocked together to see and hear 
two weather-beaten missionaries, whose skin appeared 
as if tanned by their continual exposure to the suns 
and winds of summer and winter on the continent of 
America. God attended their preaching with the power 
and demonstration of the Holy Ghost. Multitudes were 
turned from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God ; and many obtained that faith in Christ 
by which the guilt of sin was removed, and the fear of 
death taken away ; and had the Spirit of God witness- 
ing with theirs that they were the sons and daughters 
of God Almighty. The crowds that attended the churches 
where they preached were so great that the clergy 
thought it proper to refuse them any farther use of their 
pulpits; and hence, being turned out of these, they 
went to the highways and hedges to compel sinners to 
come to the marriage-feast. For, as they had sufficiently 
leamt that nothing but the gospel could be the power of 
God unto salvation to them tha,t believe, they boldly 
and zealously proclaimed Christ crucified wherever they 
found a crowd of sinners ; using extempore prayer, and 
preaching without notes. This seemed a new thing in 
the earth; and while multitudes were awakened and 
turned to God, several who did not think that such ex- 
traordinary exertions were necessary, ridiculed their zeal ; 
and others who imagined God could not give his appro- 
bation to any kind of spiritual service that was not per- 
formed within the walls of a church, became greatly 
offended: and it is a fact that not a few opposed and 

Their eldest brother, Mr. Samuel Wesley, who was a 
very high churchman, considered their conduct as little 
less than a profanation of the Christian ministry; and 
as both the doctrines they preached, and their mode of 


acting, were grossly misrepresented to him, he conceived 
a violent prejudice against their proceedings, and went 
too far with their detractors in condemning them un- 

Mr. Samuel Wesley, though a man of sound judgment 
and prudence, was too apt to conceive prejudice against 
anything that appeared contrary to his notions of the 
orthodox faith, and any churchman who in the slightest 
degree varied from established ecclesiastical order. On 
these grounds the conduct of his brothers was beheld by 
him with a jealous eye; and his mind at last became 
evil affected towards them by the ridiculous tales that 
some of his correspondents had been industrious to glean 
up ; and especially by those of a Mrs. Hutton, at whose 
house Mr. Charles Wesley, and afterwards Mr. John, 
lodged after their return from Georgia. 

By this lady's information, who was both weak and 
unawakened, having no knowledge whatever of experi- 
mental religion, he was led to consider his brothers full 
as erroneous in their doctrines as they were singular and 
irregular in their ministerial conduct ; and in short, on 
her authority, to set down his brother John as a lunatic 
or madman ! 

Many letters passed between these two brothers in 
consequence of the letters of Mrs. Hutton ; and as a 
good part of this correspondence has been published by 
the late Dr. Priestley, who by some means, not well ac- 
counted for, got possession of these family documents, on 
some parts of which, in his Address to the Methodists, 
he has made very exceptionable comments, I judge it 
necessary to lay the whole before the reader, supplying 
the deficiencies in Dr. Priestley's publication from docu- 
ments in my own possession. 

The points to which Mr. Samuel Wesley chiefly ob- 


jected were, the powerful effects produced under his 
brothers poaching, — the sudden convictions and instan- 
taneous conversions, together with the professions of 
those who were thus converted, that they knew they 
were pardoned, having a clear evidence from the Holy 
Spirit in their own minds that they were passed from 
death to life. This experience he held to he utterly im- 
possible ; and all who professed to have it passed with 
hirn as hypocrites, enthusiasts, fanatics, shallow-pates, 
and madmen. Even his own brothers fell under this 
general censure. 'Added to this, Mr. Samuel found it 
difficult to believe that a regular performance of moral 
duties, attending the ministry of the church, and duly re- 
ceiving the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, were not the 
conditions of our acceptance with God. On some of 
these points he certainly had not a distinct and clear 
view of some of the most important doctrines of his own 
church. At the time of the controversy with his bro- 
ther John he most assuredly had not a scriptural notion 
of the depth and extent of original corruption, of the 
necessity of the atonement, of justification by faith, nor 
of the influences of the Holy Spirit as exerted to con- 
vince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and 
to enlighten, quicken, sanctify, and seal the souls of be- 
lievers. All this is so evident from his letters, that there 
is no room left for the necessity of conjecture or sur- 

He did not like the singularity of his brother s conduct 
when in Oxford, before they went to America, though 
he had formerly greatly applauded their zeal ; and still 
less their doctrines, and mode of proceeding, after their 
return. On all these subjects he expresses his mind in 
the following controversy with little ceremony; and 
often with a magisterial severity that savoured too much 


of intolerant principles, of the character of the school- 
master, and the austerity of the elder brother. But we 
should make some allowance for the high notions of 
church authority and prerogative in which he was edu- 
cated. Besides, he was eleven years older than the 
eldest of his two brothers concerned in this correspon- 
dence, and he did not like to be taught the first princi- 
ples of religion by his juniors. 

Mrs. Hutton's first letter is the following : — 

" June 6, 1738. 
" Dear Sir, 
" You will be surprised to see a letter from me : but 
Mr. Hutton and I are really under a very great concern, 
and know not whom to apply to if you cannot help us. 
After you left London, and your brothers had lost the 
conveniency of your house, believing them good and 
pious Christians, we invited them to make the same use 
of ours, and thought such an offer would not be un- 
acceptable to God or to them ; which they received with 
signs of friendship, and took up with such accommoda- 
tions as our house could afford, from time to time, as 
they had occasion. Mr. Charles, on his arrival in Eng- 
land, was received and treated with such tenderness and 
love as he could have been in your house ; Mr. John 
the same ; and as occasion has offered, at different times, 
ten or twelve of their friends. But your brother John 
seems to be turned a wild enthusiast, or fanatic ; and to 
our very great affliction is drawing our two children into 
these wild notions, by their great opinion of Mr. John's 
sanctity and judgment. It would be a great charity to 
many other honest, well-meaning, simple souls, as well as 
to my children, if you could either confine or convert Mr. 
John when he is with you ; for, after his behaviour on 



Sunday thfc 28th of May, when you hear it, you will 
think him not a quite right man. 

" Without ever acquainting Mr. Hutton with any of 
his notions or designs, when Mr. Hutton had ended a 
sermon of Bishop Blackhall's, which he had been read- 
ing in his study to a great number of people, Mr. John 
got up and told the people that five days before he was 
not a Christian, and this he was as well assured of as 
that five days before he was not in that room ; and the 
way for them all to be Christians was to believe and 
own that they were not now Christians. Mr. Hutton 
was much surprised at this unexpected injudicious 
speech : but only said, ' Have a care, Mr. "Wesley, how 
you despise the benefits received by the two sacraments.' 
I, not being in the study when this speech was made, 
had heard nothing of it when he came into the parlour to 
supper ; where were my two children, two or three other 
of his deluded followers, two or three ladies who boarded 
with me, my niece, and two or three gentlemen of Mr. 
John's acquaintance, though not got into his new no- 
tions. He made the same wild speech again ; to which 
I made answer — ' If you was not a Christian ever since 
I knew you, you was a great hypocrite ; for you made 
us all believe you was one.' He said, ' when we had 
renounced everything but faith, and then got into Christ, 
then, and not till then, had we any reason to believe we 
were Christians; and when we had so got Christ, we 
might keep him, and so be kept from sin.' 

" Mr. Hutton said, ' If faith only was necessary to 
save us, why did our Lord give us that divine sermon ?' 
Mr. John said, ' That was the letter that killeth.' ' Hold,' 
says Mr. Hutton, ' you seem not to know what you say 
are our Lord's words the letter that killeth?' Mr 
John said, ' If we had no faith.' Mr. Hutton replied. 


' I did not ask you how we should receive it, but why 
our Lord gave it; as also the account of the judgment in 
the twenty-fifth of Matthew, if works are not what he 
expects, but faith only ?' 

" Now it is a most melancholy thing to have not only 
our two children, but many others, to disregard all 
teaching, but by such a spirit as comes to some in 
dreams, to others in such visions as will surprise jou to 
hear of. If there cannot be some stop put to this, and un- 
less he can be taught true humility, the mischief he will 
do wherever he goes among the ignorant but well-mean- 
ing Christians will be very great. 

" Mr. Charles went from my son's, where he lay ill 
for some time ; "and would not come to our house, where 
I offered him the choice of two of my best rooms ; but 
he would accept of neither, but chose to go to a poor 
brazier's in Little Britain, that that brazier might help 
him forward in his conversion, which was completed on 
May 22, as his brother John was praying. Mr. John 
was converted, or I know not what, or how, but made a 
Christian, May 25. A woman had besides a previous 
dream : a ball of fire fell upon her and burst, and fired 
her soul. Another young man, when he was in St. 
Dunstan's church, just as he was going to receive the 
sacrament, had God the Father come to him, but did not 
stay with him : but God the Son did stay, who came 
with him holding his cross in his hands. 

" I cannot understand the use of these relations : but 
if you doubt the truth, or your brother denies them, I 
can produce undeniable proofs of the relations of such 
facts from the persons who related the facts, that they 
had received such appearances. 

" Mr. John has abridged the life of one Haliburton, a 
Presbyterian teacher in Scotland. My son had designed 


to prinf it, to show the experiences of that holy man, of 
indwelling, &c. Mr. Hutton and I have forbid our son 
being concerned in handing such books into the world : 
but if your brother John or Charles think it will tend to 
promote God's glory, they will soon convince my son 
God's glory is to be preferred to his parents' commands. 
Then you will see what I never expected, my son pro- 
moting rank fanaticism. 

" If you can, dear Sir, put a stop to such madness, 
which will be a work worthy of you, a singular charity, 
and very much oblige 

" Your sincere and affectionate servant, 

"E. Hutton." 
" To the Rev. Mr. Wesley, 
Tiverton, Devon," 

Such were the reports and reporters on which Mr. 
S. Wesley founded some of his most solemn objections 
to the doctrines and conduct of his brothers ! Pre- 
judice and bigotry alone could have recourse to such 
evidence in a case like this. 

Mrs. Hutton most evidently knew little of the way of 
salvation. She had heard some idle tales which she 
received as truth; and she had heard true accounts, 
which, through her total ignorance of the work of God 
in the soul of man, she continually misrepresents. 

Were it not for her ignorance, the serious reader must 
consider her as designedly sitting in the seat of the 
scorner, or wilfully uttering blasphemies. 

To write a critique on her letter would be useless : it 
shows itself what it is. Mr. John Wesley, it appears, 
told them that "they must repent of their sins, and 
come to Christ crucified, not to their miserable works 
and obedience, for the remission of sins ; and that 


demption in his blood was to be received by faith ; and 
that a conformity, in their way, to our Lord's sermon on 
the mount, could not atone for sin that was past, or 
reconcile them to the offended justice of a holy God." 

This, though the doctrine of their church, was to 
them a strange doctrine ; for it seems it was not there 
duly inculcated. Of experimental religion they knew 
nothing ; did not understand its language ; and, as far 
as thev could, turned it into ridicule. 

Under the ministry of Mr. John and Charles Wesley, 
their children were convinced that they were sinners, 
and were flying to lay hold on the hope set before them 
in the gospel ; and this the poor parents thought to be 
fanaticism and madness ! 

The truly rational, scriptural, and deeply impressive 
experience of Mr. Haliburton was, with Mrs. Hutton, 
rank fanaticism;* and she was overwhelmed with dis- 
tress because her children were likely to be made par- 
takers of the same grace ! 

* If testimonies in favour of the life of Haliburton were neces- 
sary, in addition to those of Mr. Wesley and Dr. Clarke, they 
could easily be multiplied. Sir Richard Ellys, eminent for his 
knowledge of the classics — a correspondent of the first scholars of 
his age. both at home and abroad — the author of several learned 
works — a man to whom Horsley dedicated his " Britannia Ro- 
mana " — to whom Boston dedicated his " Tractatus Stigmatolo- 
gicus ' — to whom Wetstein's edition of Suicer was dedicated — and 
to whom Sloss looked for patronage on the publication of his " Dis- 
courses on the Trinity ;" yes. this eminent man preferred, with the 
exception of the Bible, the Life of Haliburton to all the books in 
his valuable and extensive library. Dr. Conyers of Deptford, too, 
once remarked to the Rev. D. Simpson, of Macclesfield, that if he 
were banished into a desert island, and had the choice of only four 
books, the Life of Haliburton should be one. — Editor. 
VOL. II. :■: 


This* one circumstance is sufficient to show in what' 
state Mrs. Hutton was; and how utterly incapable 
she was of judging rightly in matters pertaining to vital 


That Mr. Samuel Wesley, a man of learning and of 
a sound judgment, could have entertained such repre- 
sentations ; that he could not see, in this tissue of mis- 
representations and confusion, the violent prejudice and 
total ignorance of his correspondent, is strange indeed ! 
That he should have given her a serious answer in mat- 
ters in which the honour and character of his brothers 
were concerned, whom he knew to be men of common 
sense and deep piety, is yet more strange ! But he was 
himself at that time prejudiced and highly bigoted*: and 
prejudice has neither eyes nor ears. I shall subjoin 
his answer. 

" Tiverton, Devon, June 17? 1738. 
" Dear Madam, 
" I am sufficiently sensible of yours and Mr. Hutton's 
kindness to my brothers, and shall always acknowledge 
it ; and cannot blame you either for your concern, or 
writing to me about it. 

" Falling into enthusiasm, is being lost with a wit- 
ness ; and if you are troubled for two of your children, 
you may be sure I am so for two whom I may in some 
sense call mine ; who, if once turned that way, will do 
a world of mischief, much more than even otherwise 
they would have done good ; since men are much easier 
to be led into evil, than from it. 

"What Jack means by 'not being a Christian till last 
month,' I understand not. Had he never been in cove- 
nant with God ? Then, as Mr. Hutton observed, bap- 
tism was nothing. Had he totally apostatized from it ? 


I dare say not ; and yet he must be either unbaptized, 
or an apostate, to make his words true. Perhaps it 
might come into his crown that he was in a state of 
mortal sin, unrepented of; and had long lived in such a 
course. This I do not believe; however, he must answer 
for himself. But where is the sense of requiring every 
body else to confess that of themselves in order to com- 
mence Christians ? Must they confess it, whether it be 
so or no ? Besides, a sinful course is not an abolition of 
the covenant, for that very reason, because it is a breach 
of it. If it were not, it would not be broken. 

" Renouncing everything but faith may be every evil, 
as the world, the flesh, and the devil : this is a very or- 
thodox sense, but no great discovery. It may mean re- 
jecting all merit of our own good works. What Pro- 
testant does not do so ? Even Bellarmin, on his death- 
bed, is said to have renounced all merits but those of 
Christ. If this renouncing regards good works in any 
other sense, as being unnecessary or the like, it is 
wretchedly wicked; and to call our Saviour's words 
' the letter that killeth' is no less than blasphemy against 
the Son of man. It is mere Quakerism, making the 
outward Christ an enemy to the Christ within. 

" "When the ball of fire fired the woman's soul (an 
odd sort of fire that), what reference had it to my two 
brothers ? Was the youth that had the Father come to 
him told anything about them ? Did he see anything, 
or only hear a voice ? What were the words, if any ? 
I suppose he will take shelter in their being unspeak- 
able. In short, this looks like downright madness. I 
do not hold it at all unlikely that perpetual intenseness 
of thought and want of sleep may have disordered my 
brother. I have been told that the Quakers introver- 
sion of thought has ended in madness. It is a studious 



stopping* of every thought as fast as it arises, in order to 
receive the Spirit. T wish the canting fellows had never 
had any followers among us, who talk of indwellings, 
experiences, getting into Christ, &c, &c. As I remem- 
ber assurances used to make a great noise, which were 
carried to such a height, that (as far as nonsense can be 
understood) they rose to fruition, in utter defiance of 
Christian hope, since the question is unanswerable, 
' What a man hath why doth he yet hope for ?' But I 
will believe none without a miracle, who shall pretend 
to be wrapped up into the third heaven. 

"I hope your son does not think it as plainly revealed 
that he shall print an enthusiastic book, as it is that he 
shall obey his father and his mother. Suppose it were 
never so excellent, can that supersede your authority? 
God deliver us from visions that make the law of God 


" I pleased myself with the expectation of seeing 
Jack ; but that is now over, and I am afraid of it. I 
know not where to direct to him, or where he is. 
Charles I will write to as soon as I can, and shall be 
glad to hear from you in the mean time. 

" I heartily pray God to stop the progress of this 

" We join in service. 

" I am, dear madam, 

" Your sincere and affectionate friend and servant, 

"Samuel Wesley." 
"To Mrs. Hutton, College Street, Westminster." 

I am truly sorry to be obliged to notice these letters, 
and had passed them by in silence, had they not been 
twice officiously obtruded on the attention of the public 
by men more eminent for various other excellencies than 


for candour ; and used as means and arguments to dis- 
credit Mr. Wesley, and that great work of pure and 
undefiled religion which he was the means, in the hand 
of God, of diffusing throughout these lands. 

Mr. Samuel Wesley seems to take almost every thing 
for granted that this very silly and prejudiced woman 
related to him, from words ill understood which she had 
heard, and miserable fabrications of misrepresented facts, 
of which she says, " I can produce undeniable proofs of 
the relation of such facts from the persons who related 
the facts, that they had received such appearances !" 
That is, she can bring proofs that the facts were related 
by the persons who related them ! But honest truth 
dwells not in such confusion, nor veils itself with such 

I need not say what Mr. Samuel Wesley's duty was 
when he heard such tales against his excellent brothers ; 
men who were not at all inferior to himself in learning, 
who were at least his equals in judgment, and for the 
depth of whose piety he himself could vouch. He tells, 
however, some sad truths in his answer relative to him- 
self. In unqualified terms, a man is with him a Chris- 
tian if he be baptized ! He is in the covenant of God, 
which even a course of sin cannot annul, though a life 
of that kind may be a breach of it ; and that he must 
have entirely apostatized, that is, abjured Christianity 
and blasphemed Christ (for that is what is implied in 
total apostasy), or have never been baptized, in order 
not to be a Christian. With him water baptism, and 
regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are the same thing ; an 
old and pernicious error, which is deceiving thousands 
even in the present day. As to his distinction between 
mortal sin, and what is its opposite, though unmen- 


tioned, Venial sin, we know from what school it was de- 

At this time Mr. S. Wesley most undoubtedly knew 
not the doctrine of faith as laid down in the Articles 
and Homilies of the church ; and he, in his zeal against 
assurance, of which he had a very inaccurate and con- 
fused idea, confounds the hope of everlasting life with 
the hope or expectation of the present favour and appro- 
bation of God, the consequence of being justified by 
faith ! 

The illiberal reflections on the Quakers were not 
called for. It is not true that they make the outward 
Christ an enemy to the Christ within ; nor that their 
introversion of thought (what they call their silent 
waiting upon God) ends in madness. 

To conclude : taking it for granted, from this Hut- 
tonian information, that both his brothers were run mad, 
he finishes with piously praying God to stop the pro- 
gress of this lunacy ! What a revolution of credulity 
in a person so difficult to be persuaded to believe any 
thing of which he could not have the most palpable 
evidence ! 

Mrs. Hutton is now encouraged to proceed with her 
gleanings, and in the next letter exceeds her former 

"June 20, 1738. 
" Dear Sir, 
" I return you thanks for so obligingly answering my 
letter, for which I ought to beg your pardon, since I am 
sensible what I have related must afflict you, though 
it might not be in your power to lessen my affliction. 
For how can I expect more regard will be had to a 


brother than is had to parents ? Though in reality your 
brothers are much more obligated to you than many 
children are to their parents; you doing for them as a 
most kind and judicious parent, when you had not the 
same obligation. I was in hopes mine to you would 
have met your brother John at Tiverton, where he said 
he was going. If so, he could have explained to you 
the meaning of the two visions I sent you word of. 

"Every one of his converts are directed to get an 
assurance of their sins being all pardoned, and they sure 
of their salvation, which brings all joy and peace. And 
this is given them in an instant, so that every person so 
converted is able to describe the manner and time when 
they get it, as they call it. Your brother John writ his 
reflections on Mr. Hervey's paper in these words : ' Re- 
mission of sins, and peace with God. — The life of God, 
or love, in our souls. — The evidence of our weakness, 
and the power of Christ.' 

"My son felt it on the 25th of April at the blessed 
sacrament, as the minister said, ' The body of our Lord 
Jesus Christ,' &c. Your brother Charles felt it at 
Mr. Bray's, as your brother John was praying for it for 
him on the 22nd of May. Your brother John felt it on 
the 25th of May, just as he awaked. 

" These things they make no secrets ; for good Mr. 
Baldwin told me he heard your brother Charles give a 
relation of a young man at Oxford, who had lived, as he 
himself thought, a very good and pious life ; but he was 
first convinced it was nothing, before he could get this 
faith ; upon which he threw himself upon his face, upon 
his chamber floor, and lay so (I suppose praying) an 
hour or two, and then rose up with great joy and peace 
of mind. 

" This affected Mr. Baldwin so much, that the next 


opportunity he had to talk with my son, he put into his 
hands a sermon of Bishop Bull's upon the subject of the 
assistance we may expect from the Holy Spirit. But all 
authors and writings hut the Bible are rejected; and 
every man, if he will practise what he knows, shall 
have all the light necessary for himself, taught him from 

" They are, I think, aiming at something more ; for 
my son told me that a woman, who is a dissenter, had 
three years and more, as she fancied, been under the seal 
of reprobation; and upon her coming to Mr. Bray's, 
where your brother Charles, Mr. Bray, and my son were 
praying for her, though she went home in the same 
melancholy, yet in an hour after she sent them word that 
she was delivered from the power of Satan, and desired 
them to return public thanks for the same in her behalf. 
I heard a poor simple barber, whose name was Wolfe, 
relate such a dream that a blacksmith had, as a sign of 
his being just getting into Christ, and of his own power, 
as put me beyond patience. My poor son lay ill of a 
fever at the same time, with such a number of these 
fancied saints about him, that I expected nothing but 
his weak brain would be quite turned. I think it is 
not far from it, that he will not give any, the most pious 
or judicious author his father recommends, a reading. 

'*Now your brother John is gone, who is my son's 
pope, it may please God, if you give yourself the trouble 
to try, he may hear some reason from you. If you could 
bring your brother Charles back, it would be a great step 
towards the reconversion of my poor son. Your two 
brothers are men of great parts and learning ; my son is 
good humoured, and very undesigning; and sincerely 
honest, but of weak judgment ; so fitted for any delusion. 
It would be the greatest charity you ever did, and your 


charity of all kinds is very extensive. If you can un- 
deceive your brother Charles and my son, it would put 
a stop to this wildfire. 

"I suppose you received a letter from your brother 
John that he came to London the 12th at night, set for- 
ward the 13th, without seeing your brother Charles, to 
make a visit to Count Zinzendorf. I know he looks upon 
his fancies as directions from the Holy Spirit. What 
carried him to Georgia I know not ; but I can prove he 
brought that notion with him to Deal, when he landed 
from Georgia; and had Mr. Whitfield believed it, he 
had not proceeded on his voyage ; John had brought him 
back by the direction of the Spirit. We do nothing but 
pray for our children, and all others under this strange 
delusion, since arguments from us, which to others seem 
reasonable, have no effect upon them. I doubt not of 
your prayers upon the same occasion, and all other means 
your good judgment shall enable you to use. 

"I have been thus long, to give you all the light I can 
into this affair, as a help towards your finding out a cure; 
being, with the greatest value and respect for your real, 
not imaginary worth, 

" Your most sincere humble servant, 

" Elizabeth Hutton." 

" To the Rev. Mr. Samuel Wesley, 
" at Tiverton, Devon." 

Poor Mrs. Hutton appears sadly tried because her son, 
in the point in question, relative to the remission of sins 
and the witness of the Spirit, will not receive the autho- 
rity of Bishop Blackwall, Bull, and others, but that of 
the Bible only! Perhaps it will make the reader smile ; 
but this brings to my recollection the case of the poor 
Roman Catholic woman, who, having lost her rosary, 


cried qnt, " Lord, haveTmercy upon me ! Christ, hare 
mercy upon me ! I have lost my crucifix, and now have 
nothing but God Almighty to trust to !" 

That both the Mr. Wesleys professed to have received 
the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, at 
the time specified by Mrs. Hutton, is a fact which they 
not only never denied, but exulted in to the day of their 

The letter in which Mr. John Wesley defended him- 
self against the misrepresentations of Mrs. Hutton, and 
his brother's charges founded on them, I cannot find; it 
is most probably lost ; but that such a letter was written 
is evident from his brother Samuel's allusion to it in a 
letter dated December 13th of this year, which shall 
shortly be introduced. But a letter before me of the 
30th of October must be inserted here, as it contains 
Mr. J. Wesley's explanation at large of his own state, 
the change tjiat had passed upon his soul, and what he 
believed relative to such influences of God upon the 
hearts of men. 

" October 30, 1738. 
" Dear brother, 

" That you will always receive kindly what is so in- 
tended I doubt not. Therefore I again recommend the 
character of Susurrus. O may God deliver both you and 
me from all bitterness and evil speaking, as well as from 
all false doctrine, heresy, and schism ! 

"1. With regard to my own character, and my doctrine 
likewise, I shall answer you very plainly. By a Chris- 
tian, I mean one who so believes in Christ as that sin 
hath no more dominion over him ; and in this obvious 
sense of the word, I was not a Christian till May 24th 
last past. For till then sin had the dominion over me, 


although I fought with it continually ; hut surely then, 
from that time to this, it hath not ; such is the free grace 
of God in Christ ! What sins they were which till then 
reigned oyer me, and from which, hy the grace of God, I 
am now free, I am ready to declare on the house-top, if 
it may be for the glory of God. 

" 2. If you ask hy what means I am made free (though 
not perfect, neither infallibly sure of my perseverance), 
I answer, by faith in Christ ; by such a sort or degree of 
faith as I had not till that day. My want of this faith I 
knew long before, though not so clearly till Sunday, 
January 8th last, when, being in the midst of the great 
deep, I wrote a few lines in the bitterness of my soul, 
some of which I have transcribed ; and may the good God 
sanctify them both to you and me. 

" * By the most infallible of all proofs, inward feeling, 
I am convinced this day, 

'"1. Of unbelief; having no such faith in Christ as 
will prevent by heart from being troubled, which it could 
not be if I believed in God, and rightly believed also in 

" ' 2. Of pride, throughout my life past ; inasmuch as 
I thought I had what I find I have not. Lord, save, or 
I perish ! Save me, 

" ' (1) By such a faith in thee and in thy Christ, as 
implies trust, confidence, peace in life and in death. 

" ' (2) By such humility as may fill my heart from this 
hour for ever with a piercing, uninterrupted sense, Nihil 
est quod hactenus feci ; having evidently built without a 

"" ' (3) By such a recollection as may cry to thee every 
moment, but more especially when all is calm (if it should 
so please thee), Give me faith, or I die ! Give me a lowly 


spirit? otherwise, Mihi non sit suave vivere. Amen! come, 
Lord Jesus ! T/s Aa/3/<3, zhir\<sw pov.' 

" Some measure of this faith which hringeth salvation, 
or victory over sin, and which implies peace and trust in 
God through Christ, I now enjoy through his free mercy, 
though in very deed it is in me but as a grain of mustard 
seed; for the vXrigotpogia. vifccos, the seal of the Spirit, 
the love of God shed abroad in my heart, and producing 
joy in the Holy Ghost, joy which no man taketh away, 
joy unspeakable and full of glory ; this witness of the 
Spirit I have not, but I patiently wait for it. I know many 
who have already received it ; more than one or two in 
the very hour we were praying for it. And having seen 
and spoken with a cloud of witnesses abroad, as well as 
in my awn country, I cannot doubt that believers who 
wait and pray for it, will find these scriptures fulfilled in 
themselves. My hope is, that they will be fulfilled in 
me. I build upon Christ, the Rock of Ages, on his sure 
mercies described in his word, and on his promises, all 
which I know are yea and amen. 

" Those who have not yet received joy in the Holy 
Ghost, the love of God, and the plerophory of faith (any 
or all of which I take to be the witness of the Spirit with 
our spirit that we are the sons of God), I believe to be 
Christians in that imperfect sense wherein I call myself 
such ; and I exhort them to pray that God would give 
them also to rejoice in hope of the glory of God, and to 
feel his love shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, 
which is given unto them. 

" On men I build not ; neither on Matilda Chapman's 
word, whom I have not talked with five minutes in my 
life ; nor on any thing peculiar in the weak, well-meant 
relation of William Herbery, who yet is a serious 


humble-acting Christian. But have you been believing on 
these ? Yes : I find them more or less in almost every 
letter you have written on the subject. Yet were all 
that has been said on ' visions, dreams, and balls of fire, 
to be fairly proposed in syllogisms, I believe it would 
prove not a jot more on one than on the other side of the 

" O brother, would to God you would leave disputing 
of the things which you know not (if indeed you know 
them not), and beg of God to fill up what is yet wanting 
in you. Why should not you also seek till you receive 
that peace of God which passeth all understanding ? 
Who shall hinder you, notwithstanding the manifold 
temptations, to rejoice with joy unspeakable, by reason of 
glory ? Amen, Lord Jesus ! May you, and all who are 
near of kin to you (if you have it not already), feel his 
love shed abroad in your hearts by his Spirit which dwell- 
eth in you ; and be sealed with the Holy Spirit of pro- 
mise, which is the earnest of your inheritance. 

" I am, 

" Your and my sister's most affectionate brother. 

" John Wesley." 
^'To the Rev d . Mr. Wesley, 
Tiverton, Devon." 

To this admirable letter Mr. Samuel thus answered : — 

" Tiverton, Devon, Nov r 15, 1738. 
"Dear Jack, 
"I have many remarks to make on your letter; but do 
not care to fight in the dark, or run my head against a 
stone wall. 

" You need fear no controversy with me, unless you 
ihink it worth while to remove these three doubts : 


"1. -Whether you will own or disown, in terms, the 
necessity of a sensible information from God of pardon ? 
If you disown it, the matter is over as to you; if you 
own it, then — 

"2. Whether you will not think me distracted to 
oppose you with the most infallible of all proofs, inward 
feeling in yourself, and positive evidence in your friends, 
while I myself produce neither ? 

" 3. Whether you will release me from the horns of 
your dilemma, that I must either talk without knowledge 
like a fool, or against it like a knave ? I conceive neither 
part strikes. For a man may reasonably argue against 
what he never felt, and may honestly deny what he has 
felt to be necessary to others. 

" You build nothing on tales ; but I do. I see what 
is manifestly built upon them; if you disclaim it, and 
warn poor shallow pates of their folly and danger, so 
much the better. They are counted signs or tokens, 
means or conveyances, proofs or evidences, of the sensible 
information, &c, calculated to turn fools into madmen ; 
and put them, without a jest, into the condition of Oliver s 

" When I hear visions, &c, reproved, discouraged, and 
ceased among the new brotherhood, I shall then say no 
more of them ; but till then I will use my utmost strength 
that God shall give me to expose these bad branches of a 
bad root, and thus — 

" Such doctrine as encourages and abets spiritual fire- 
balls, apparitions of the Father, &c, &c, is delusive and 
dangerous. But the sensible necessary information, &c, 
is such ; ergo, 

" I. mention not this to enter into any dispute with you, 
for you seem to disapprove, though not expressly disclaim ; 
but to convince you I am not out of my way, though en- 


countering of windmills. I will do my best to make 
folks wiser. 

"I will borrow from our Litany a prayer you will 
join in. 

" ' That it may please thee to strengthen such as do 
stand ; to comfort and help the weak-hearted ; to raise up 
those that fall ; and finally to beat down Satan under our 
feet : We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord ! 

" My wife joins with love ; we are all pretty well. 
"I am, dear Jack, 

" Your sincere and affectionate friend and brother, 

" Samuel "Wesley." 

" To the Rev d . Mr. John Wesley." 

I was about to make some severe strictures on this 
letter, because it is exceedingly disingenuous, and because 
it has been urged by some of the enemies of Mr. J. Wes- 
ley and Methodism as a triumph over their doctrine of 
assurance, &c. But on having recourse to Dr. White- 
head, who inserts a part of this letter, I adopt his reflec- 
tions on it, which are full in point. 

" This letter appears to me full of fallacy- To give 
one instance : Mr. John Wesley had said, the witness of 
the Spirit was the common privilege of believers ; that he 
considered joy in the Holy Ghost, the love of God, and 
the plerophory of faith, as the witness of the Spirit with 
our spirit that we are the sons of God ; that the whole 
of what had been said on ' visions, dreams, and balls of 
fire,' could not in his opinion either prove or disprove the 
point in question between them ; that is, visions, dreams, 
and balls of fire were totally foreign to the witness of 
the Spirit for which he was contending. But his brother 
Samuel changes the term witness, and substitutes for it 


sensibl* information, by which he means something 
visible to the sight, or existing in the fancy ; and then 
indeed visions, &c. were connected with the question ; 
and he reasons on this supposition. But this was a mere 
sophism, of which Mr. J. Wesley would probably have 
taken notice, had he been writing to a stranger, or had 
he foreseen that any one would print the letters after his 
death." The doctor refers here to the publication of the 
original letters of the Wesley family, by Dr. Priestley. 

To the foregoing letter Mr. J. Wesley replied thus : — 

" Nov. 30, 1738. 
I believe every Christian who has not yet 

received it should pray for the witness of God's Spirit 
with his spirit that he is a child of God. In being a 
child of God, the pardon of his sins is included ; there- 
fore I believe the Spirit of God will witness this also. 
That this witness is from God the very terms imply ; and 
this witness I believe is necessary for my salvation. How 
far invincible ignorance may excuse others I know not. 
But this you say is delusive and dangerous, because it 
encourages and abets idle visions and dreams. It encou- 
rages — true ; accidentally, but not essentially. And that 
it does this accidentally, or that weak minds may pervert 
it to an idle use, is no objection against it ; for so they 
may pervert every truth in the oracles of God; more 
especially that dangerous doctrine of Joel, cited by St. 
Peter, ' It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, 
I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your 
sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young 
men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream 
dreams.' Such visions indeed as you mention are given 
up; does it follow that visions and dreams in general 



'are bad branches of a bad rootf God forbid. This 
■would prove more than you desire." 

Mr. Samuel "Wesley returns once more with objec- 
tions raised on nearly the same grounds ; changing the 
terms of the question in debate, and arguing on these 

"Dec. 13, 1738. 
" Dear Jack, 

" You own abundantly enough to clear Mrs. Hutton 
from any misrepresentations as to you, and me from any 
misunderstanding her. I was but too right in my judg- 

"1. You was not a Christian before May 24; but are 
so now, in a sense of the word you call obvious, which 
was so far from it, that it astonished all who heard you 
then, and which I deny to be so much as true. 

" 2. You hold the witness of the Spirit, a clear infor- 
mation of adoption, whereof pardon is a part, to be abso- 
lutely necessary to your salvation, and that of others, 
unless excused by invincible ignorance. Enough ! 
enough ! Yet, 

" 3. You apply Joel amazingly, though you give up 
such visions as I speak of, yet not allowing me to call 
such ' bad branches of a bad root.' That I may not be 
guilty of putting them more or less into every letter, I'll 
discuss that matter fully by itself, once for all, desiring 
you in the mean time to say, what other scripture dreams 
or visions you would insist on? Whether all between 
Genesis and the Revelations ? I am afraid Ahab's lying 
spirit may be too pertinent. 

" That you were not a Christian before May in your 
sense any one may allow ; but have you ever since con- 


tinued sinless? Sin has not the dominion. Do you 
never then fall ? Or do you mean no more than that you 
are free from presumptuous sins ? If the former, I deny 
it ; if the latter, who disputes ? 

" Your misapplication of the witness of the Spirit is so 
thoroughly cleared by Bishop Bull, that I shall not hold 
a candle to the sun. What portion of love, joy, &c. God 
may he pleased to bestow on Christians is in His hand, 
not ours. Those texts you quote no more prove them 
generally necessary, in what you call your imperfect state, 
than ' Rejoice in the Lord always' contradicts ' Blessed 
are they that mourn. There is a time to weep, and a 
time to laugh, till that day comes when all tears shall be 
wiped from our eyes, which I take it will hardly be be- 
fore death ; to which happiness God of his infinite mercy, 
through Christ, bring us all ! 

" We join in love. As your last is dated from Oxford, 
I write thither, though you may be gone by this time. 
" I am, dear Jack, 

" Your affectionate and sincere friend and brother, 

"S. Wesley." 

" I had much more to say ; but it will keep, if ever it 
should be proper." 

This letter may be thought proper or passable be- 
tween brother and brother; but it is inexcusable in a 
logician, and completely proves that Mr. Samuel had no£ 
one show of argument farther to produce. The first part 
of Mr. J. Wesley's reply is lost ; the following is all that 
remains : — 

" I think Bishop Bull's sermon on the witness of the 
Spirit (against the witness of the Spirit it should rather 
be entitled) is full of gross perversions of Scripture, and 


manifest contradictions both to Scripture and experience. 
I find more persons day by day, who experience a clear 
evidence of their being in a state of salvation ; but I 
never said this continues equally clear in all, as long as 
they continue in a state of salvation. Some indeed have 
testified, and the whole tenor of their life made their 
testimony unexceptionable, that from that hour they have 
felt no agonies at all, no anxious fears, no sense of dere- 
liction, as others have. 

" But much I fear we begin our dispute at the wrong 
end. I fear you dissent from the fundamental articles of 
the Church of England. I know Bishop Bull does. I 
doubt you do not hold justification by faith alone ; if 
not, then neither do you hold what our articles teach con- 
cerning the extent and the guilt of original sin, neither 
do you feel yourself a lost sinner; and if, we begin not 
here, we are building on the sand. may the God of 
love, if my sister or you are otherwise minded, reveal 
even this unto you \" 

Rem acu tetigit. This was most undoubtedly the state 
and feeling of Mr. Samuel Wesley at this time. That he 
came to a better state of mind at last, his brother fully 

The next year's correspondence is as follows : 

" Tiverton, March 29, 1738-9. 
" Dear Jack, 
"I might as well have wrote immediately after your 
last as now, for any new information I expected from my 
mother; I might as weU have let it alone at present, for 
any effect it will have, farther than showing you I neither 
despise you on the one hand, nor am angry with you on 
the other. 


" I am hardly persuaded you will see me face to face 
in this world, though somewhat nearer that Count Zin- 
zendorf. Charles has at last told me in terms, he believes 
no more of dreams or visions than I do. Had you said 
so, I believe I should have hardly spent any time upon 
them, though I find others credit them, whatever you 

may do. 

" You make two degrees or kinds of assurance. That 
neither of them is necessary to a state of salvation I 
prove thus : — 

" 1. Because multitudes are saved without either. 
These are of three sorts : — 1. All infants baptized, 
who die before actual sin. 2. All persons of a melan- 
choly and gloomy constitution ; who without a miracle 
cannot be changed. 3. All penitents \J>acJcsliders~\ who 
live a good life after their recovery, and yet never 
attain to their first state. 

" 2. The lowest assurance is an impression from God, 
who is infallible, that heaven shall be actually enjoyed 
by the person to whom it is made. How is this con- 
sistent with fears of miscarriage ; with deep sorrow, 
and going on the way weeping ? How can any doubt 
after such certificate ? If they can, then there is an 
assurance whereby the person who has it is not sure. 

"3. If this be essential to a state of salvation, it 
is utterly impossible any should fall from that state 
finally ; since, how can anything be more fixed than 
what Truth and Power has said he will perform ? 
Unless you will say of the matter here, as I observed 
of the person, that there may be assurance wherein 
the thing itself is not certain. 

" Your affectionate friend and brother, 

"S. Wesley." 


The reader will observe, that in this letter Mr. S. 
Wesley confounds the assurance of being now in the 
favour of God, with that of being infallibly and eter- 
nally saved ! The latter doctrine Mr. J. Wesley never 

The following is Mr. J. Wesley's reply : — 

" Bristol, April 4, 1738-9. 
"Dear Brother, 

" I greatly rejoice at the temper with which you now 
write ; and trust there is not only mildness, but love 
also in your heart : if so, you shall know of this doc- 
trine whether it be of God, though perhaps not by my 

" To this hour you have pursued an ignoratio elenchi. 
Your assurance and mine are as different as light and 
darkness. I mean an assurance that I am now in a 
state of salvation : you, an assurance that I shall per- 
severe therein. The very definition of the term cuts off 
your second and third observation. As to the first, I 
would take notice — 

" 1. No kind of assurance (that I know), or of faith, 
or of repentance, is essential to their salvation who 
die infants. 

" 2. I believe God is ready to give all true penitents, 
who fly to his free grace in Christ, a fuller sense of 
pardon than they had before they fell. I know this 
to be true of several ; whether there are exempt cases, 
I know not. 

"3. Persons that were of a melancholy and gloomy 
constitution, even to some degree of madness, I have 
known in a moment (let it be called a miracle, I quarrel 
not), brought into a state of firm, lasting peace and 


•"My dear brother, the whole question turns chiefly, 
if not wholly, on matter of fact. You deny that God 
does now work these effects; at least, that he works 
them in such a manner. I affirm both ; because I have 
heard those facts with my ears, and seen them with 
my eyes. I have seen (as far as it can be seen) many 
persons changed in a moment from the spirit of horror, 
fear, and despair, to the spirit of hope, joy, and peace ; 
and from sinful desires, till then reigning over them, to 
a pure desire of doing the will of God. These are 
matters of fact, whereof I have been, and almost daily 
am, eye or ear witness. 

" What (upon the same evidence as to the suddenness 
and reality of the change) I believe, or know, touching 
visions or dreams. This I know: several persons in 
whom this great change, from the power of Satan unto 
God, was wrought either in sleep, or during a strong 
representation to the eye of their minds, of Christ, 
either on the cross, or in glory. This is the fact : let 
any judge of it as they please. But that such a change 
was then wrought appears (not from their shedding 
tears only, or sighing or singing psalms, as your poor 
correspondent did by the woman at Oxford, but) from 
the whole tenor of their life, till then many ways 
wicked ; from that time holy, just, and good. Saw you 
him who was a lion till then, and is now a lamb ; he 
that was a drunkard, but now exemplarily sober; the 
whoremonger that was, who abhors the very lusts of 
the flesh ? These are my living arguments for what I 
assert, that God now, as aforetime, gives remission of 
sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost, which may be 
called visions: if it be not so, I am found a false- 
witness. But, however, I do and will testify the things 
I have both seen and heard. 


" I do not now expect to see your face in the flesh ; 
not that I believe God will discharge you yet, but I 
believe I have nearly finished my course.* O may 
I be found in Him, not having my own righteous- 



When T thy promised Christ have seen. 
And clasped Him in my soul's embrace ; 
Possessed of thy salvation — then, — 
Then may I, Lord, depart in peace ! 

"The great blessing of God be upon you and yours. 

" I am, dear brother, 

" Your ever affectionate 
" and obliged brother, 
"John Wesley." 

"P.S. — I expect to stay here some time; perhaps as 
long as I am in the body." 

* Under this mark Dr. Priestley has the following note — " How 
greatly was Mr. Wesley mistaken in this his full persuasion, when 
he lived fifty years after this." This very note is introduced 
designedly to discredit Mr. Wesley's doctrine of assurance : but 
the reflection is unfair and false. Mr. Wesley does not say, nor 
intimate, that he had a full persuasion that he had nearly finished 
his course. He says simply, " I do not expect to see your face in 
the flesh — I believe I have nearly finished my course ;" and at 
the conclusion of the letter, "I expect to stay here some time; 
perhaps as long as I am in the body." Now, do these hypothetic 
terms — expect; believe, perhaps — amount to a full persuasion that 
he should shortly die 1 I trow not. But he had reason to suppose 
and believe, from the then state of his health, that death was at 
the door. And with respect to the continuance of human life 
every thing is problematical. In the midst of life we are in 

See the conclusion of his next letter, May 10, 1739. 


• This letter Mr. Samuel Wesley answered thus : — 

"April 16, 1739. 
" Dear Jack, 

" I heartily pray God that we may meet each other 
with joy in the next life ; and beg him to forgive either 
of us, as far as guilty, for our not meeting in this. I 
acknowledge his justice in making my friends stand afar 
off, and hiding my acquaintance out of my sight. 

" I find brevity has made me obscure. I argue 
against assurance, in your or any sense, as part of the 
gospel covenant, because many are saved without it. 
You own you cannot deny exempt cases, which is giving 
up the dispute. Your assurance being a clear im- 
pression of God upon the soul, I say must be perpetual, 
must be irreversible ; else it is not assurance from God, 
infallible and omnipotent. 

" You say the cross is strongly represented to the eye 
of the mind. Do these words signify, in plain English, 
the fancy ? Inward eyes, ears, and feelings, are nothing 
to other people. I am heartily sorry such alloy should 
be found among so much piety." 

In the above letter Mr. S. Wesley lays down pre- 
mises of his own, which he attributes to his brother ; 
and which his brother never proposed, nor maintained. 
And, strange to tell, from these assumed premises he 
draws conclusions which they will not support ! A clear 
impression of God upon the soul must be irreversible, 
because God is infallible and omnipotent ! Was there 
ever such reasoning ? He might as well have main- 
tained that the divine image in the soul of man was, in 
his creation, a clear and full impression of God ; there- 
fore it was perpetual and irreversible. Consequently 


Adam never fell, and the history of that event is a fable ! 
how prejudice and religious bigotry blind the mind, 
and pervert the heart ! Mr. Samuel Wesley thus pro- 
ceeds : — 

"The little reflection on my poor correspondent at 
Oxford is quite groundless. I do not remember he says 
singing (adding rolling, &c.) was the only sign of her 
new birth ; it is brought as a fruit of it. May we not 
know the tree by the fruit ? Such visions, I think, may 
fairly be concluded fallacious, only for being attended 
with so ridiculous an effect. 

" My mother tells me she fears a formal schism is 
already begun among you, though you and Charles are 
ignorant of it. For God's sake take care of that, 
and banish extemporary expositions and extemporary 

" I have got your abridgment of Haliburton, and have 
sent for Watts. If it please God to allow me life and 
strength, I shall by his help demonstrate that the Scot 
as little deserves preference to all Christians but our 
Saviour, as the book all writings but those you mention. 
There are two flagrant falsehoods in the very first chap- 
ter. But your eyes are so fixed upon one point, that 
you overlook every thing else. You overshoot: but 
Whitfield raves. 

" I entreat you to let me know what reasons you 
have to think you shall not live long. I received 
yours, dated the 4th, on Sunday 14th. The post will 
reach me much sooner, and I shall want much to know 
what ails you. I should be very angry with you, if you 
cared for it, should you have broken your iron consti- 
tution already; as I was with the glorious Pascal for 



losing his health, and living almost twenty years in 

"Dear Jack, 
" Your sincere and affectionate 

" Friend and brother, 
" S. Wesley." 

In answer to Mr. Samuel's argument, or rather asser- 
tion, that the assurance in question made no part of 
the gospel covenant, Mr. J. Wesley answers — 

" Bristol, May 10*A, 1739. 
" Dear Brother, 

" The having abundance of work upon my hands is 
only a cause of my not writing sooner : the cause was 
rather my unwillingness to continue an unprofitable 

" The gospel promises to you, and to me, and to our 
children, and to all that are afar off, even as many of 
those as the Lord our God shall call, as are not dis- 
obedient to the heavenly vision, the witness of God's 
Spirit with their spirit that they are the children of God ; 
that they are now at this hour all accepted in the Be- 
loved: but it witnesses not that they always shall be. 
It is an assurance of present salvation only ; therefore 
not necessarily perpetual^ neither irreversible. 

" I am one of many withesses of this matter of fact, 
that God does now make good this his promise daily, 
very frequently during a representation (how made I 
know not, but not to the outward eye) of Christ, either 
hanging on the cross, or standing on the right hand of 
God. This I know to be of God, because from that 
hour the person so affected is a new creature, both as 



to liis inward tempers, and outward life. ' Old things 
are passed away, and all things become new.' 

"A very late instance of this I will give you. While 
we were praying at a society here, on Tuesday the first 
instant, the power of God (so I call it) came so mightily 
among us, that one, and another, and another fell down 
as thunderstruck. In that hour, many that were in 
deep anguish of spirit were all filled with peace and joy. 
Ten persons, till then in sin, doubt, and fear, found such 
a change that sin had no more dominion over them ; and 
instead of the spirit of fear, they are now filled with 
that of love, and joy, and a sound mind. A Quaker, 
who stood by, was very angry at them ; and was biting 
his lips, and knitting his brows, when the Spirit of God 
came upon him also ; so that he fell down as one dead. 
We prayed over him, and he soon lifted up his head 
with joy, and joined with us in thanksgiving. 

" A bystander, one John Haydon, was quite enraged 
at this ; and being unable to deny something superna- 
tural in it, laboured beyond measure to convince all his 
acquaintance that it was a delusion of the devil. I was 
met in the street next day by one who informed me that 
John Haydon was fallen raving mad. It seems he had 
sat down to dinner, but wanted first to make an end of 
a sermon he was reading. At the last page he suddenly 
changed colour ; fell off his chair ; and began screaming 
terribly, and beating himself against the ground. I 
found him on the floor, the room being full of people, 
whom his wife wquld have kept away: but he cried 
out, ' No ! let them all come ; let all the world see the 
just judgment of God.' Two or three were holding him 
as well as they could. He immediately fixed his eyes 
on me, and said, ' Aye, this is he I said deceived the 
people : but God hath overtaken me. I said it was a 




delusion of the devil; this is no delusion!' Then he 
roared aloud, ' O thou devil ; thou cursed devil ! yea, 
thou legion of devils ! thou canst not stay in me. Christ 
will cast thee out ; I know his work is begun. Tear me 
to pieces if thou wilt : hut thou canst not hurt me.' 

He then beat himself again ; and groaning again with 
violent sweats, and heaving of the breast, we prayed 
with him, and God put a new song in his mouth. The 
words were, which he pronounced with a clear strong 
voice,' — ' This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in 
our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made ; 
we will rejoice and be glad in it. Blessed be the Lord 
God of Israel, from this time forth for evermore." I 
called again an hour after. We found his body quite 
worn out, and his voice lost : but his soul was full of 
joy and love, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. 

" I am now in as good health (thanks be to God) as 
I ever was since I remember, and I believe shall be so 
as long as I live, for I do not expect to have a lingering 
death. The reasons that induce me to think I shall not 
live to be old are such as you would not apprehend to be 
of any weight. I am under no concern on this head : 
let my Master see to it* may the God of love be 
with vou and my sister more and more ! 

" Dear brother, 
" Your ever affectionate brother^ 

" John Wesley." 

About two months before his death Mr. Samuel Wes- 
ley wrote the following letter, which was probably the 
last he wrote on the subject ; and appears to be an 
answer to the foregoing^ 


" Tiverton, Sept. 3d, 1739. 
" Dear Jack, 

" It has pleased God to visit me with sickness, else I 
should not have heen so backward in writing. Pray to 
him for us, ' That he would give us patience under our 
sufferings, and a happy issue out of all our afflictions ; 
granting us in this world knowledge of his truth, and in 
the world to come life everlasting.' 

" It is good news that you have built a Charity 
School, and better still that you have a second almost 
up, as I find by yours, that Mr. Wigginton brought me. 
I wish you could build not only a school, but a church 
too, for the colliers, if there is not any place at present 
for worship where they can meet ; and I should heartily 
rejoice to have it endowed, tho* Mr. Whitfield were to 
be the minister of it, provided the bishop fully joined. 

" Your distinction between the discipline and the 
doctrine of the church is, I think, not quite pertinent ; 
for surely episcopacy is a matter of doctrine too : but 
granting it otherwise, you know there is no fear of being 
cast out of our synagogue for any tenets whatsoever. 
Did not Clarke die preferred ? Were not Collins and 
Coward free from anathema ? Are not Chubb and 
Gordon now caressed? My knowledge of this makes 
me suspect Whitfield, as if he designed to provoke per- 
secution by his bodings of it. He has already personally 
disobliged the Bishops of Gloucester and London ; and 
doubtless will do as much by all the rest, if they fall not 
down before his whimsies, and should offer to stand in 
his way. Now if he by his madness should lay himself 
open to the small remains of discipline among us, as by 
marrying without license, or any other way, and get ex- 
communicated for his pains, I am very apprehensive you 
would still stick to him as your dear brother ; and so, 


tho' the church would not excommunicate you, you 
would excommunicate the church. Then I suppose you 
would enlarge your censure, which now takes in most of 
the inferior clergy. But you have taught me to have 
the worse opinion of no man upon that account, till you 
have proved your charge against Bishop Bull. At pre- 
sent, I am inclined to think, that being blamed with 
him is glory. 

" You yourself doubted at first, and inquired and ex- 
amined about the ecstasies : the matter therefore is not 
so plain as motion to a man walking. But I have my 
own reason, as well as your authority, against the ex- 
ceeding clearness of divine interposition there. Your 
followers fall into agonies. I confess it. They are freed 
from them after you have prayed over them ; — Granted. 
They say it is God's doing. I own they say so. Dear 
B r where is your ocular demonstration ? Where indeed 
is the rational proof? Their living well afterwards, may 
be a probable and sufficient argument that they believe 
themselves. But it goes no farther. I must ask a few 
more questions. Did these agitations ever begin during 
the use of any collects of the church? or during the 
preaching of any sermon that had been preached within 
consecrated walls without that effect, or during the in- 
culcating any other doctrine besides that of your new 
birth ? Are the main body of these agents or patients 
good sort of people before hand, or loose and immoral ? 

" My wife joins in love to you and Charles, if he is 
with you, or indeed wherever he is ; for you know best 
his motions, and he is likely to hear from you before me. 
Phill is very well ; my wife indifferent ; and I am on 
the mending hand in spite of foul weather. 
" I am, dear Jack, 

" Your sincere and affectionate friend and brother, 

"Samuel Wesley." 


The tone of this letter is greatly altered from that of 
most of the preceding. He no longer disputes against 
the doctrine of assurance : but the agitations he cannot 
conceive to be a work, or effect of the working, of the 
Divine Spirit. Mr. J, Wesley did not consider them as 
such; but simply asserted the fact, that many thus 
seized were delivered from them at the earnest prayers 
of believers, and at the same time received a sense of 
their acceptance with God ; and this last was proved to 
be his work by the subsequent holiness of their lives. 

The question, — Did any of these agitations take place 
while any of the collects of the church were read? 
might be answered by another, — Was Paul reading a 
rational dissertation on righteousness, temperance, and 
a judgment to come, when Felix trembled ? Acts xxiv. 
25. One of our artists, who attempted to paint this 
scene, did represent Paul reading out of a book to Felix : 
but, on being asked the question, — Was it likely that 
Paul read before Felix ; and if so, was it likely that he 
trembled at that reading ? was in a moment convinced 
of the absurdity, struck the book out of the apostle's 
hands, and directed both them and his eyes to the 
Roman governor. 

The collects are for the worship of the church, the 
people of God, who come to perform their devotions to 
their God and Father ; they were never designed to be 
instruments of awakening the profligate. That belongs 
to suitable discourses delivered from the pulpit. It re- 
quires strong and forcible addresses, varied and suited 
according to circumstances and occasions, to arrest and 
awaken the careless, and to cause them to turn their 
eyes in upon their hearts, and consider their ways. It 
was a very silly objection which Mr. Samuel made in a 
letter to his mother, against the field-preaching of his 


two brothers and Mr. Whitfield. " They leave off (says 
he) the liturgy in the fields. Tho* Mr. Whitfield ex- 
presses his value for it, he never once read it to his 
taterdemallions on a common." If he had, who would 
have attended to him or it ? — a thing which they could 
hear in any church, or read themselves on their return 
home! No, it was the novelty of the thing that in- 
duced them to attend. They saw a man in the garb and 
attitude of a minister standing on the common, on the 
highways, or by the hedges ; — and they ran together to 
hear what he had to say, and he preached unto them 
Jesus, and in such a scripture way as was then heard in 
few churches in the land. Thus they were awakened 
and converted to God. " Upon a review (says Dr. 
Whitehead) of the whole of this controversy, we may 
safely pronounce that the doctrine of assurance is in no 
respect invalidated or rendered doubtful by anything 
Mr. Samuel Wesley has said against it." 

On the contrary we may assert, that it shines more 
illustrious ; and that the very circumstance of such a 
very wise, learned, and able a logician as Mr. Samuel 
not having been able to bring one argument of any 
weight against it, though he availed himself, in the straits 
to which his brother had reduced him, of sophisms to 
support him, is a strong proof that it is founded on the 
sacred Scriptures, necessarily belongs to the New Cove- 
nant, and that there is neither divination nor enchant- 
ment against it. As to field-preaching, the vast and 
wondrous moral change that was made in the hearts and 
lives of the superlative sinners of Kingswood, to which 
Mr. Samuel Wesley in the letter above turns his atten- 
tion with delight, was produced under God by out-of- 
door preaching, for at that time there was neither chapel 
nor church in all that district. And yet, with all this 


evidence before his eyes, so bigoted was lie to forms and 
ecclesiastical order, that he says in the above letter to 
his mother, that he "would rather have his brothers 
picking straws within the walls of the university, than 
preaching in the area of Moorfields." Had they been of 
his mind, how many thousands of souls must in all like- 
lihood have perished, to whom that kind of preaching 
became the means of salvation ; and who are now exult- 
ing in the glory of God, because his faithful servants 
went out to the highways and to the hedges, and com- 
pelled them to come in, that his house might be filled! 

For other matters relative to what was called Mr. 
Wesley's doctrine of assurance (or in other and better 
words, his strongly insisting on and applying to suitable 
subjects this apostolic doctrine, " Gcd sent forth his 
Son to redeem them that were under the law, that we 
might receive the adoption of sons : And because ye are 
sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into 
your hearts, crying, Abba, Father !"), see several ob- 
servations at the close of the Memoir of Mrs. Susanna 

We find from Mr. Samuel Wesley's letter of Sept. 3, 
1739, that he had been visited with sickness ; from 
which I believe he did not fully recover, though he then 
fancied himself " on the mending hand." But the event 
showed that he was then on the confines of the grave. 
According to the statement of a friend, who wrote the 
short Memoir prefixed to the 12mo. edition of his poems, 
" continual application to various business, and an intense 
pursuit at the same time of his studies, had well nigh 
worn him out by the time he had reached little more 
than half the age of man ; so that being advised to retire 
for air and gentle exercise, to recruit his constitution, he 
was easily prevailed upon to accept a country school in 



the West of England, where he soon fell into a lingering 
illness, which in a few years brought him to his end." 

Dr. Whitehead observes : " Mr. Wesley had a bad 
state of health some time before he left Westminster, 
and his removal to Tiverton did not much mend it. On 
the night of the 5 th of November, 1739, he went to 
bed seemingly as well as usual, was taken ill about three 
in the morning, and died at seven, after about four hours* 

The following letter from a particular friend, Mr. Amos 
Matthews, to Mr. Charles Wesley, states the circum- 
stances more explicitly. 

" Tiv&rton, Nov. 14, 1739. 
" Rev. and dear Sir, 
" Your brother, and my dear friend (for so you are 
sensible he was to me), on Monday, the 5th of November, 
went to bed, as he thought as well as he had been for 
some time before. He was seized about three o'clock in 
the morning very ill, when your sister immediately sent 
for Mr. Norman, and ordered the servant to call me. 
Mr. Norman came as quick as he possibly could ; but 
said, as soon as he saw him, that he could not get over 
it, but would die in a few hours. He was not able to 
take anything, nor to speak to us ; only yes, or no, to a 
question asked him ; and that did not last half an hour. 
I never went from his bed-side till he expired, which 
was about seven the same morning. With a great deal 
of difficulty we persuaded your dear sister to leave the 
room before he died. I trembled to think how she would 
bear it, knowing the sincere affection and love she had 
for him. But, blessed be God, he hath heard and an- 
swered prayer on her behalf; and in a great measure 
calmed her spirit, though she has not yet been out of her 


chamber. Your brother was buried on Monday last, in 
the afternoon ; and is gone to reap the fruit of his labours. 
I pray God we may imitate him in all his virtues, and 
be prepared to follow. I should enlarge much more, but 
have not time ; for which reason I hope you will excuse 
him, who is under the greatest obligations to be, and 
really is, with the greatest sincerity, 

" Yours in all things, 

"Amos Matthews." 

On receiving this intelligence, Mr, John and Charles 
Wesley set off to visit and comfort their widowed sister 
at Tiverton, which they reached on the 21st; and under 
this date Mr. J. Wesley makes the following entry in 
his Journal : — . 

"On Wednesday, 21st Nov. 1739, in the afternoon, 
we came to Tiverton. My poor sister was sorrowing 
almost as one without hope. Yet we could not but 
rejoice at hearing from one who had attended my bro- 
ther in all his weakness, that several days before he 
went hence God had given him a calm and full assurance 
of his interest in Christ, may every one who opposes 
it be thus convinced that this doctrine is of God J" 

Pray what does this imply ? An earnest desire that 
$e God of all grace may convince all opposers of this 
doctrine that it is of God ; by giving them, before they 
go hence, a calm and full assurance of their interest in 
Christ. Can any wish be more humane, more charitable, 
or more merciful ? But how has this entry been treated 
by a late biographer of Mr. Wesley ? I am sorry to be 
obliged to mention Mr. Robert Southey with anything seems like disrespect. But on this subject he has 


been illiberal ; and I think I can set him right. " Wesley, 
says he, cannot be suspected of intentional deceit ; yet 
who is there, who, upon reading this passage, would 
suppose that Samuel had died after an illness of four 
hours ? "Well might he protest against the apprehension 
or the charity of those who were so eager to hold him 
up to the world as their convert." 

None of his brothers, nor of the Methodists of that 
time, ever was eager to hold up Mr. Samuel Wesley as 
their convert. His brothers laboured to bring him from 
the errors under which he lay ; and most certainly there 
were articles in his creed that were neither in his Church 
nor in his Bible, as the preceding letters prove. That 
he ceased his opposition to the doctrine of the witness of 
the Spirit, without which religion is little better than a 
shadow, is evident from his letter of Sept. 3, which was 
two months before he died. That Mr. Wesley does not 
even insinuate that he received a calm and full assurance 
of his interest in Christ in his last four hours, is most 
evident. He says, it was several days before he went 
hence ; and he says this on the authority of one who 
had attended him in all his weakness, — and he had 
weakness for several years, as we have seen ; but he was 
particularly weak and afflicted some months before he 
died ; and surely several days before he died, when hii 
particular weakness must have led him to conclude that 
death might be at the door, was ample time for the 
mercy of God in Christ Jesus to be manifested to his 
soul, that he might not die in the dark. May we not 
retort, and say, " Southey cannot be suspected of in- 
tentional deceit; yet who is there, who, upon reading 
this passage, would not suppose that Mr. J. Wesley 
states, that his brother Samuel got a calm and full assu- 
rance of his interest in Christ, in the last four hours of 


his life ?" " But he died," says Mr. Southey, « in that 
essential faith which has heen common to all Christians 
in all ages." I believe he did. But Mr. Southey seems 
not to understand the distinction between the faith, — 
that is, the system of doctrines, duties, privileges, &c, 
which constitute the Christian Revelation; and the 
faith that justifies the ungodly. He who does not know 
this distinction knows little of Christianity for his own 
personal salvation. Mr. Southey is also an opposer of 
the doctrine of the witness of the Spirit. So essential 
do I think this to Mr. Southey's salvation, that I heartily 
pray to God that not only several days, but several 
years (for I wish him a very long life), before he goes 
hence, he may receive from God a calm and full assur- 
ance of his interest in Christ ; and be thus convinced that 
the doctrine is of God. In this case, as in many others, 
relative to Mr. Wesley and Methodism, Mr. Southey has 
spoken against what he does not understand.* I may 
tell him, and all who are of his mind, that the Methodists 
never refer to Mr. Samuel Wesley as a proof of the truth 
of this doctrine. They refer to no man, not to Mr. John 
Wesley himself ; they appeal to none : — they appeal to 
the Bible, where this doctrine stands as inexpugnable as 
the pillars of Heaven. Nor do they need solitary in- 
stances as facts, to prove that on this point they have not 
mistaken the Bible, while they, by the mercy of God, 
have thousands of testimonies every year of its truth ; 
and they know it to be the common birthright of all 

* Most of Mr. Southey's errors will be found corrected by the 
Rev. James Everett, in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine for 
1818, p. 260, 340, 419 ; and subsequently by the Rev. Richard 
Watson, in his " Observations" on Mr. Southey's Life of Mr, 


the sons* and daughters of God. Without it, the whole 
life of faith would be hypothetical. And if a man have 
not the consolations of the Holy Spirit, and a scriptural 
and satisfactory evidence of his own interest in Christ, 
and of his title, through him, to the kingdom of heaven, 
the Koran, for ought he knows, may be as true as the 
Bible. No man can inherit unless he be a son : " For 
if sons, then heirs ;" and to them that are sons, " God 
sends the Spirit of his Son into their hearts, crying, Abba, 
Father." These are the true sayings of God, and all his 
people know them. 

Before I quit that collection of letters published by 
Dr. Priestley, where Mr. Samuel Wesley's opposition to 
his brothers is principally recorded, I must say a word 
on the gratulatory appeal which the doctor makes to the 
Methodists, in his address prefixed to those letters. 

" This very publication," says he, " will convince you 
that you who are now called Methodists are a very dif- 
ferent set of people, and much more rational, than those 
who were first distinguished by that name." I answer, 
we are not a very different people, nor different at all, 
either in one article of our essential doctrines, or in one 
tittle of our Church discipline. That our people grow 
wiser and better, and become more useful, we acknow- 
ledge with gratitude to the Author of every good and 
perfect gift ; and this is naturally to be expected when 
they have the advantages of a pure and enlightened 
ministry, where they are in the constant habit of hearing 
that gospel-trumpet which emits no uncertain sounds. 
The doctor goes on : " We do not now hear of those 
sudden and miraculous conversions." Whether the 
doctor did or did not hear of what he calls sudden and 
miraculous conversions, we, thank God, do hear of and 
see them almost daily in different parts of our connexion ; 


yea, and in several cases, accompanied with what he 
calls " convulsions, falling down," &c, though we do not 
think that these circumstances are at all essential to the 
thing, for we find in numerous cases the instantaneous 
work effected without them. They are neither looked 
for, sought for, nor encouraged. They are adventitious 
circumstances ; in most cases of their occurrence un- 
avoidable, for the very reasons which Mr. J. Wesley 
gave at the time they were most frequent, under his own 
ministry. " For," says he, " how easy is it to suppose 
that a strong, lively, and sudden apprehension of the 
heinousness of sin, the wrath of God, and the hitter 
pains of eternal death, should affect the body as well as 
the soul, during the present laws of vital union ; should 
interrupt or disturb the ordinary circulations, and put 
nature out of its course. Yea, we may question whether, 
while this union subsists, it be possible for the mind to 
be affected in so violent a degree, without some or other 
of those bodily symptoms following. It is also remark- 
able that there is plain Scripture precedent of every 
symptom which has lately appeared. So that we cannot 
allow even the conviction attended with these to be 
madness, without giving up both reason and Scripture." 
Dr. Priestley goes on, and says, " Nor will many of you, 
I presume, at this day pretend to date your new-birth 
with as much precision as your natural birth." The 
inaccuracy of these expressions I leave undisturbed. 
"But you will here find the day, the hour, and the 
minute, when both Mr. John and Mr. Charles Wesley 
first received, or imagined they first received, their divine 
light; and, as they say, became Christians, from being 
before that moment no Christians." More inaccuracy ! 
Hour and minute are added here by Dr. Priestley, none 
of which appear in the letters in this publication ; but I 


let that "pass also, though inexcusable in an experimental 
philosopher ; for although these things are not mentioned, 
yet they were doubtless as determinable as the day. I 
must also say here, that Methodism is in this respect 
also the same. God does his own work in the same way 
now that he did then. And there is nothing more usual 
among even the best educated and enlightened of the 
members of the Methodists' Society than a distinct know- 
ledge of the time, place, and circumstances, when, where, 
and in which, they were deeply convinced of sin, and 
afterwards had a clear sense of God's mercy to their 
souls, in forgiving their sins, and giving them the witness 
in themselves that they were born of God ; so that, in 
this sense also, the Methodists not only continue to 
preach, believe, and be what they formerly were, but 
differ toto ccelo from Doctor Priestley, and the religious 
tenets he held. And let this be an answer to his question 
in p. xxv., " In what then, my brethren, do we differ V 
In almost every article of our creed, the being of a God 
and the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures excepted. 
And if we ever change our creed into that to which the 
doctor wishes to lead us, may our name be blotted out 
from the earth, and our memorial perish from among the 
children of men ! Selah. 

I shall now proceed to take a general view of the 
writings and character of this eminent man. 

It is said of Mr. Samuel Wesley, by those who knew 
him well, that " he possessed an open benevolent temper, 
which he had from nahire, which he had so cultivated on 
principle, and was so intent upon it as a duty to help 
every body as he could, that the number and continual 
success of his good offices was astonishing even to his 
friends, who saw with what pleasure and zeal he did 
them ; and he was an instance how exceedingly service- 


able in life a person of a very inferior station may be, 
who sets his heart upon it. As his diligence on such 
occasions was never tired out, so he had a singular ad- 
dress and dexterity in soliciting them. His own little 
income was liberally made use of; and as his acquaint- 
ance whom he applied to were always confident of his 
care and integrity, he never wanted means to carry on 
his good purposes ; so that his life was a series of useful 

Mr. Wesley's wit was keen, and his sense strong. As 
a poet, he stands entitled to a very distinguished niche 
in the Temple of Fame ; and it has long appeared to 
me strange that his poetical works have not found a 
place either in Johnsons, Anderson's, or Chalmers 
collection of the British poets. To say that those 
collectors did not think them entitled to a place there 
would be a gross reflection on their judgment ; as in the 
last and best collection, consisting of one hundred and 
twenty-seven poets, it would be easy to prove that 
Samuel Wesley is equal to most, and certainly superior 
to one half, of that number. But the name ! the name 
would have scared many superficial and fantastic readers, 
as they would have been sadly afraid of meeting in 
some corner or other with Methodism, which is so in- 
timately connected with the name of Wesley. With 
multitudes a name is the omen of good or bad luck, 
according to their fancies or prepossessions. 

But though he has not been brought before the public 
in any of the above collections, it must not be forgotten 
that Dr. Johnson has given a quotation from him in the 
grammar prefixed to his Dictionary as the best specimen 
of that kind of poetry to which he refers. The lines 
are generally known; but many are ignorant of their 



Beneath, a sleeping infant lies, 

To earth whose ashes lent, 
More glorious shall hereafter rise, 

Though not more innocent. 
When the' archangel's trump shall blow, 

And souls to bodies join, 
What crowds will wish their lives below 

Had been as short as thine ! 

The truth and beauty of these lines will be felt as 
well as seen ; therefore every one is a judge of their 
merit. Mr. Southey too, in his " Specimens of the later 
English Poets," published in 1807, bas noticed him, and 
given us specimens of his poetical productions. The 
verses on the setting up of Mr. Butler's monument, 
which I shall hereafter introduce ; and " Advice to One 
who was about to write, to avoid the Immoralities of the 
antient and modern Poets," are introduced into his pages. 

In 1736, Mr. Samuel Wesley published " A Collection 
of Poems on several Occasions," in 4to., for which it 
appears he got a handsome list of subscribers. Before 
this, several of them had been published separately, or 
in other collections, without the name of the author. 
One of these poems, indeed the largest in the collection, 
is entitled " The Battle of the Sexes." It contains fifty 
verses, in the stanza of Spencer. It had been published 
by itself, without the author's knowledge ;* and produced 

* Samuel Wesley remarks, in his " Preface to the second edition" 
of this poem, that " the first was printed more correctly than could 
have been reasonably expected, since it was published without the 
writer's knowledge, and a great many undeserved compliments 


a handsome compliment from Mr. Christopher Pitt, " To 
the unknown author of The Battle of the Sexes." It is 
too long to transcribe ; but I cannot withhold the fol- 
lowing lines : 

What muse but yours so justly could display 

Th' embattled Passions marshalled in array 1 

To airy notions solid forms dispense, 

And make our thoughts the images of sense ? 

Discover all the rational machine, 

And show the movements, springs, and wheels within 1 

His personification and description of Religion in this 
poem has been admired by all readers, — 

were passed upon him." The person alluded to was Thomas 
Cooke, the translator of " Hesiod," with notes, and the author of 
some dramatic pieces and poems, for one of which Pope gave him 
a place in his " Dunciad." The " Battle of the Sexes" appears to 
have been published in Dublin, with the following motto, — 
" Bella, horrida bella !" Vine. 

A new title-page was added in 1738. In subsequent editions the 
motto is, — 

" Paribus se legibus ambae 

Invictas Gentes aeterna in fasdera mittant." Viro. 

The second edition, which, as has just been stated, was published 
by Samuel Wesley himself, appeared in 1736. A literary friend, 
to whom the " Wesley Family is deeply indebted for his contribu- 
tions, and who is honourably noticed by Dr. Clarke in his preface 
to the work, has suggested a query to the writer of this note, — 
Whether the first edition of the poem was not published in London 
in 1733-4, and reprinted in Dublin from the edition in 1738 ] The 
gentleman who gave it to Cooke, told him, he "met with it by 
accident from a friend abroad." See the preface. The poem con- 
tains four stanzas less than in the edition by the author, and is in 
many places different. Cooke states the poem to have been inscribed 
to his friend and his mistress ; but in the second line of Mr. Wesley's 
edition, we find " Hamilton," instead of " patiently." — Editor. 


#" Mild, sweet, serene, and cheerful was her mood ; 
Nor grave with sternness, nor with lightness free : 
Against example resolutely good, 
Fervent in zeal, and warm in charity." 

In this work there are four Tales admirable for their 
humour, and for their appropriate and instructive moral ; 
though in some instances the descriptions are rather 
coarse : "The Cobler;" "The Pig;" " The Mastiff;" and 
" The Basket." 

As the work is in the hands of few of those under 
whose notice these Memoirs are likely to fall, I shall 
insert "The Pig" as a specimen, in an Appendix at 
the end of these Memoirs. 

Mr. S. Wesley had the highest reverence for divine 
revelation. He considered its detractors, whom he gene- 
rally found to be profligates, unworthy of the name of 
men ; and they received the severest lashes of his satirical 
muse. Some specimens of his mode of thinking and 
feeling on this point, as well as on subjects of less gravity, 
will be found among the Appendices. 

Mr. Duncombe, in a letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, 
to which I shall have occasion again to refer, speaking 
of this work, says, "We have a volume of poems in 
quarto by Samuel Wesley, which are ingenious and en- 
tertaining. He had an excellent knack of telling a tale 
in verse." 

The verses already alluded to, on setting up Mr. But- 
ler's monument in Westminster Abbey, have been attri- 
buted to another author; but we have Mr. Wesley's 
hand and name claiming them as his own ; and though 
well known, I shall introduce them here because of an 
important variation in the second line in the MS, from 
that in the printed copy. 


" While Butler, needy wretch ! was yet alive, 

No purse-proud printer would a dinner give : 

See him, when starved to death, and turned to dust, 

Presented with a monumental bust ! 

The Poet's fate is here in emblem shown : 

He asked for bread, and he received a stone J' 

In the printed copies, " no generous patron" is found 
instead of "purse-proud printer " 

There are many poems by Samuel Wesley not found 
in his Collection. Among these may he mentioned, 
" The Song of the Three Children, paraphrased by M. 
de la Pla, and published by S. Wesley in 1724, ano- 
nymous. See Bibliotheca Britannica, p. 957- Also 
"Georgia," a poem, in 1736, from which extracts have 
been given. My readers may find three others in Bishop 
Atterbury's Epistolary Correspondence, vol. iii., pp. 301, 
310, and 312, together with some I shall hereafter 

The Methodists should know that the Hymns which 
begin with the following lines were composed by Mr. 
Samuel Wesley : 

" The morning flowers display their sweets," &c. 
" From whence these dire portents around," &c. 
" The Sun of righteousness appears," &c 
" The Lord of Sabbath let us praise," &c. 
" Hail, Father, wl ose creating call," &c. 
" Hail, God the Son, in gloiy crowned," &c. 
" Hail, Holy Ghost ! Jehovah ! third," &c. 
" Hail, holy, holy, holy Lord," &c. 

I do not recollect to have seen in print the following 
lines to Mr* Pope :— . 


" Depend not upon verse for fame 

(Though none can equal thine) ; 
Our language never rests the same, 

'Twill rise, or 'twill decline. 

Thy wreaths, in some few fleeting hours, 

Too soon will be decayed ; 
But History lasts, though modem flowers 

Of poetry must fade. 

A surer way, then, wouldst thou find 

Thy glory to prolong, 
While there remains amongst mankind 

A sense of right and wrong ? 

Thy fame with nature's self shall end, 

Let future times but know 
That Atterbury was thy friend, 

And Bentley was thy foe." 

His verses on forms of prayer, against Dr. Watts, 
who made forms of praise, by turning the psalms into 
a sort of Christian hymns, are strong and pointed : — 

" Form stints the spirit, Watts has said, 

And therefore oft is wrong ; 
At best a crutch the weak to aid, 

A cumbrance to the strong. 

Of human liturgies the load 

Perfection scorns to bear ; 
The apostles were but weak, when God 

Prescribed his Form of Praver. 

Old David both in prayer and praise 

A form for crutches brings ; 
But Watts has dignified his lays. 

And furnished him with wings. 

Even Watts a form for praise can choose, 

For prayer who throws it by 
Crutches to walk he can refuse, 

But uses them to fly .'" 

Mr. Wesley was highly esteemed by Lord Oxford, to 
whom, as before noticed, he dedicated his quarto volume 


of poems; and also by Mr. Pope, Dean Swift, and 
Prior, the latter of whom has made honourable mentioii 
of him. With Addison, also, he was intimately ac- 
quainted, as well as with some others of the greatest men 
of his time. From the two former, the following letters 
may be introduced. 


>; "Dover Street, Aug. 7, 1734. 

" Reverend Sir, 

" I am sorry and ashamed to say it, but the truth must 
come out, that I have had a letter of yours dated June 
8, and this is August 7, and I nave Dut now set P en 
to paper to answer it. 

" I assure you I was very glad to hear from you ; and 
since that you are much mended in your health, change 
of air will certainly be of great service to you, and I hope 
you will use some other exercise than that of the school. 
I hear you have had an increase of above forty boys since 
you have been down there. I am very glad for your sake 
that you are so well approved of. I hope it will in every 
respect answer your expectation. If your health be 
established, I make no doubt that all parts will prove to 
your mind, which will be a great pleasure to me. 

"There is very little news stirring. They all agree 
that the Bishop of Winchester is dying. They say 
Hoadley is to succeed him, and Potter, Hoadley ; but how 
farther I cannot tell, nor does the town pretend, which 
is a wonderful thing. I am very glad you was reduced 
to read over Hudibras three times with care ; and I find 
you are perfectly of my mind, that it much wants notes, 
and that it will be a great work. Certainly it will be 
to do it as it should be. I do not know one so capable 
of doing this as yourself. I speak this very sincerely. 
Lilly's life I have ; and any books that I have you shall 


see, and have the perusal of them, and any other part 
that I can assist. I own I am very fond of the work, 
and it would be of excellent use and entertainment. 

" The news you read in the papers of a match with my 
daughter and the Duke of Portland was completed at 
Mary-le-bonne Chapel. I think there is the greatest 
prospect of happiness to them both. I think it must be 
mutual; one part cannot be happy without the other. 
There is a great harmony of temper, a liking to each 
other, which I think is a true foundation for happiness. 
Compliments from all here attend you. 

" I am, Sir, 
" Your most affectionate humble servant, 

" Oxford." 

" The two boys are very well. Pray let me hear from 
you soon ; and let me know from under your own hand 
how you do." 

This letter shows that much familiarity and confidence 
subsisted between his lordship and Mr. Wesley ; and it 
is most likely that it was by Lord Oxford's influence that 
he obtained the mastership of Blundell's school ; a place 
for which he was every way qualified, except in health, but, 
in his infirm state, the most improper situation in which 
he could have been placed. A church preferment would 
have suited his habits much better ; and as he had natu- 
rally a robust constitution, he might have lived many 
years longer, and his latter days might have been more 
useful than his first. To a person of impaired health 
and infirm constitution, the office of public schoolmaster 
is a? deleterious as the bottom of a coal-mine. 

The following letter from Mr. Pope is without the date 
of the year ; and we scarcely know to what it refers J but 


I suppose to the subscription for Mr. Wesley's Collec- 
tion of Poems ; and if so, it must have been written 
about 1735. 

" Dear Sir, 
"Your letter had not been so long unanswered, but 
that I was not returned from a journey of some weeks, 
when it arrived at this place. You may depend on the 
money for the Earl of Peterborow, Mr. Bethel, Dr. Swift, 
and Mr. Eckershall ; which I will pay beforehand to any 
one you shall direct ; and I think you may set down 
Dr. Delaney, whom I will write to. I desired my Lord 
Oxford, some months since, to tell you this. It was just 
upon my going to take a last leave of Lord Peterborow, 
in so much hurry, that I had not time to write ; and 
my Lord Oxford undertook to tell it to you for me. I 
agree with you in the opinion of Savage's strange per- 
formance, which does not deserve the benefit of the 
clergy. Mrs. "Wesley has my sincere thanks for her good 
wishes in favour of this wretched tabernacle, my body. 
The soul that is so unhappy as to inhabit it deserves her 
regard something better, because it harbours much good- 
will for her husband and herself; no man being more 

" Dear Sir, 
" Your faithful and affectionate servant, 

"A. Pope." 

Though both this letter and that of Lord Oxford be in 
the main excessively flat, and carelessly composed, yet 
the last paragraph here contains some fine ideas, expressed 
with the utmost felicity of language. 

In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1809, p. 609, is the 
fac-simile of a poetical epistle from Mr. Pqpe, accu- 



rately copied from the original, which requires no furthe 
illustration than to observe, that "Father Francis cros 
the sea," was Dr. Atterbury, the then exiled bishop o 





Wesley, if Wesley 'tis they mean, 

They say on Pope would fall. 
Would his best patron let his pen 

Discharge his inward gall. 

What patron this, a doubt must be 

Which none but you can clear, 
Or Father Francis cross the sea, 

Or else Earl Edward here. 

That both were good must be confess'd, 

And much to both he owes, 
But which to him will be the best 
The Lord of Oxford knows. 
To the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Oxford, Dover Street. 

The Bishop of "Winchester, mentioned by Lord Oxforc 
was Richard "Willis, formerly of All Souls* College, Ox 
ford, and military chaplain to King "William, who raise 
him first to the bishopric of Salisbury ; after which h 
was translated in 1723 to the see of Winchester. H 
died in August 1734, and was succeeded by Dr. Benja 
min Hoadley in the September following. One thing wa 
peculiarly remarkable in Bishop Willis; he generall 
preached extempore, with ease, correctness, and fluency 
a thing most singular among the clergy in those days 


a thing which Mr. S. Wesley execrated in his brothers ; 
and which, with extempore prayer, he said, " was enough 
to bring in all confusion." 

To this extempore preaching Dr. Willis was at first led 
no doubt by the temper of his master King William, who 
was accustomed to hear such kind of preaching in Hol- 
land, and could scarcely have borne to hear doctor or 
prelate read a sermon out of the pulpit at the congrega- 
tion. When Willis became a bishop he continued the 
practice. Some thought he wrote his sermons first, and 
then committed them to memory. What Bishop Godwin, 
De Praesulibus Anglias, p. 245, says of Bishop Willis, I 
shall subjoin ; the substance I have given before. 

" Richardus Willis, Collegii Omnium Animarum non 
item pridem socius, a rege Gulielmo praecipue ea de causa 
ascitus qui in castris militaribus sibi a sacris adesset, quod 
singulari quadam facilitate extempore concionandi, vel 
conciones memoriter recitandi polleret." 

So, Mr. John Wesley was not the first extempore 
preacher in the church; nor did extempore preaching 
bring in all or any confusion, as Mr. Samuel Wesley 
thought it must do. 

Mr. Wesley had not only the friendship of Lord 
Oxford, but his intimacy also ; and frequently dined at 
his house. But this was an honour for which he was 
obliged to pay a grievous tax, ill suited to the narrow- 
ness of his circumstances. Tales to servants, that sove- 
reign disgrace to their masters, were in those days quite 
common, and in some instances, seem to have stood in 
the place of wages. A whole range of livery-men gene- 
rally stood in the lobby with eager expectation and 
rapacity, when any gentleman came out from dining at a 

m 2 


nobleman's table ; so that no person who was not affluent 
could afford to enjoy the privilege of a nobleman's enter- 

Mr. Wesley, who was a frequent visitor at Lord Ox- 
ford's, having paid this tax oftener than well suited his 
circumstances, thought it high time either to come to 
some compromise with these cormorants, or else to dis- 
continue his visits. One day, on returning from his 
lordship's table, and seeing the usual range of greedy 
expectants, he addressed them thus : " My friends, I 
must make an agreement with you, suited to my purse ; 
and shall distribute so much (naming the sum) once in 
the month, and no more." This becoming generally 
known, was not only the means of checking that trouble- 
some importunity, but also of redressing the evil ; for 
their master, whose honour was concerned, commanded 
them to " stand back in their ranks when a gentleman 
retired ;" and prohibited their begging ! Many eminent 
men have endeavoured to bring this vile custom into de- 
served disgrace ; Dryden, Addison, Swift, &c. ; but it 
still continues, though under another form; leaving 
taverns out of the question (where the lowest menial 
expects to be paid, if he condescends to answer a civil 
question), cooks, chamber-maids, waiters, errand-boys, 
&c., &c, all expect money, if you lodge in their master's 
house but a single night ! And they expect to be paid 
too in proportion to the treatment you have received from 
their master, and in proportion to his credit and respect- 
ability, and not to your means or purse. The gentry ol 
the land should rise up as one man against this disgrace- 
ful custom, as the board of excise have done against the 
bribes taken by their officers. Let a servant, on being 
hired, hear, " Your wages for which you agree shall be 
duly and faithfully paid ; I shall not require the aid oi 


my friends to make up the deficiencies of my servants. 
The day on which I am informed you receive any thing 
from my guests, you shall he dismissed from my service." 
If all agree to act thus, this grievous tax upon our friends 
will soon be abolished. There are few cases where the 
friendly visit does not cost him who pays it five times 
more than his maintenance would have done at his own 

I have already referred to Mr. Wesley's lines on the 
death of Queen Anne, to which allusion is made in the 
fourth stanza of his Epitaphium Vivi, p. 162. But I 
can find none but the following, which he has altered 
from Prior's Ode, presented to King "William on his re- 
turn from Holland after the Queen's death, in 1695. I 
insert them because of a circumstance that shall be men- 
tioned below. 


At Anna's tomb (sad sacred place !), 

The Virtues shall their vigils keep, 
And every muse and every grace 

In solemn silent state shall weep 

For her the great, the good, shall mourn, 

When late records her deeds repeat ; 
Ages to come, and men unborn, 

Shall bless her name, so truly great ! 

Fair Albion shall with grateful trust 

Our sacred Anna's relics guard ; 
Till heaven awake the precious dust, 

And gives the saint her full reward. 

These verses have been set to music by that eminent 
performer and honest man, Charles Wesley, Esq., son to 
the late Rev. Charles Wesley, and nephew to Mr. Samuel 

m 3 


Wesley; and applied to the late Queen Charlotte, 
changing nothing but the name Charlotte for Anna ; and 
if the private and domestic character of both be con- 
sidered, we shall find them at least as truly applicable 
to the queen of George III., as to the illustrious spouse 
of the Prince of Denmark. They were certainly very 
appropriate in their application to the good Queen Mary. 
In his compositions, letters, and friendships, we have 
already seen much of the character of Mr. Samuel Wes- 
ley, and relative to this point little needs to be added. 
A part of his character, of which the world knew nothing, 
was the brightest, and most worthy of the imitation of 
every son and every brother. From the time he became 
usher in Westminster School, he divided his income with 
his parents and family. Through him, principally, were 
his brothers John and Charles maintained at the univer- 
sity ; and in all straits of the family, his purse was not 
only opened, but emptied, if found necessary. And all 
this was done with so much affection and deep sense of 
duty, that it took off and almost prevented the burden 
of gratitude which otherwise must have been felt. These 
acts of filial kindness were done so secretly, that although 
they were very numerous, and extended through many 
years, no note of them is to be found in his corre- 
spondence ; his right hand never knew what his left 
hand did. Those alone knew his bounty who were its 
principal objects, and they were not permitted to record 
it. Indirect hints we frequently find in the letters of 
old Mr. and Mrs. Wesley, and sometimes in those of his, 
brothers ; and those hints were all they dared mention 
in their correspondence with a man who wished to for- 
get every act of kindness he had done. His brothers 
always spoke of him with the highest reverence, respect, 
and affection. 


Mr. Badcock, it seems, possessed a letter of acknow- 
ledgment from old Samuel Wesley, written not long be- 
fore his death, to this dutiful and affectionate son. I have 
not been so fortunate as to see this letter, and cannot tell 
whether it now exists; but the reader will be highly 
pleased at what Mr. Badcock says of it : — 

"I have in my possession a letter of this poor and aged 
parent addressed to his son Samuel, in which he gratefully 
acknowledges his filial duty, in terms so affecting, that I 
am at a loss which to admire most, the gratitude of the 
parent, or the affection and generosity of the child. It 
was written when the good old man was nearly fourscore, 
and so weakened by a palsy as to be incapable of direct- 
ing a pen, unless with his left hand. I preserve it as a 
curious memorial of what will make Wesley applauded, 
when his wit is forgotten." 

Yes, filial affection is one of the first duties man owes 
upon earth ; only his duty to God is paramount. There 
cannot be a nearer representative of an impoverished 
Christ to the eye of a child, than a parent in distress ; 
nor will the approbation of God be more strongly ex- 
pressed in the day of final retribution, than to that child 
who has honoured the Lord with his substance, in sup- 
plying the wants of those from whom, under God, he 
has derived his being. And those who have ministered 
to the necessities of their parents will be found at the top 
of the list of those of whom the Fountain of Justice and 
Father of Mercies speaks, when he says, " I was hungry, 
and ye gave me meat ; thirsty, and ye gave me drink ; 
naked, and ye clothed me ; sick and in prison, and ye 
ministered unto me !" A sound creed is a good thing ; 
but we know that it may be entertained where little of 


the practice of piety and mercy is to be found. And 
there may be in some respects a deficient creed, where 
nevertheless all the great truths of religion are found ; 
and where it even is not so, there are many cases where 
the conformity of the life to the purest principles of 
truth, justice, and mercy, sufficiently evidences the law 
of God written in the heart by the finger of the Almighty 

The man who acted thus towards his parents, and 
contributed to the utmost of his power to the support 
and education of his brothers and sisters, and whose 
whole conduct was irreproachable, has been styled by 
certain gentlemen who ought to have inquired, if they 
did not know better, " a worldly priest, who hated all 
pretence to more religion than our neighbours, as an 
infallible mark of a dissenter." This slander is too thin, 
too barefaced, and too malevolent, to deserve notice. 
Mr. Southey has duly exposed it by a fine irony. " The 
amiable spirit which is displayed in this sentence, its 
liberality, its charity, and its regard to truth, require no 
comment." — Life of Wesley, vol. i., p. 294. 

I can say, on the best authority, that such was the 
amiableness, benevolence, and excellence of his public 
and private character, that during the seven years he re- 
sided at Tiverton, where he was best known, he was 
nearly idolized. His diligence and able method of teach- 
ing in his school was so evident and successful, that in 
the first year upwards of forty boys were added to it. 
And such confidence had the public in him, that chil- 
dren were sent from all quarters to be placed under his 
tuition. His memory was dear to all who had the privi- 
lege of his acquaintance. And while my page shall 
live, his eminent abilities, his steady attachment to his 
friends, whom he invariably cleaved to in adversity, and 


his uncommon filial piety, and various other excellencies, 
shall not he forgotten. 

Mr. Samuel Wesley was a memher of the philosophical 
society at Spalding, and gave to their museum an amu- 
let that had touched the heads of the three kings of 
Cologne, whose names were in black letters within. 

He married a Miss Berry, whose character he has 
drawn in the following poem, in which he ingeniously 
introduces her name in the first line : 

Her hair and skin are as the Berry, — brown ; 
Soft is her smile, and graceful is her frown ; 
Her stature low, 'tis something less than mine ; 
Her shape, though good, not exquisitely fine ; 
Though round her hazle eyes some sadness lies, 
Their sprightly glauces can sometimes surprise ; 
But greater beauties to her mind belong, 
Well can she speak, and wisely hold her tongue ; 
In her, plain sense and humble sweetness meet : 
Though gay, religious ; and though young, discreet. 
Such is the maid, if I can judge aright, 
If love or favour hinder not my sight. 
Perhaps you'll ask me how so well I know 1 
I've studied her, and I confess it too. 
I've sought each inmost failing to explore, 
Though still the more I sought, I liked the more. 

This lady was daughter of a clergyman of the esta- 
blished church, and rector of Watton, in Norfolk. Her 
grandfather, John Berry, M. A., Fellow of Exeter Col- 
lege, Oxford, was presented to the rectory of East Down, 
Devonshire, by the protector, Richard Cromwell, in 
1658, from which he was ejected in 1662, by the Act 
of Uniformity. When ejected he had ten children, and 
scarcely anything for their subsistence ; but God took 
care of them, and most of them afterwards lived in com- 
fortable circumstances. He continued to preach in 


severaV places as he had opportunity ; and once, if not 
oftener, was cast into Exeter common gaol, where he lay 
for several months. Of him Mr. Baxter says, " He was 
an extraordinary, humble, tender-conscienced, serious, 
godly, able minister." He died happy in God, December, 
1704, aged nearly 80. 

It appears that Mr. Berry, the son of this venerable 
man, was a clergyman of great worth and unshaken 
integrity. It was on the decease of this clergyman, that 
Mr. Wesley wrote his poem entitled the " Parish Priest," 
which several of Mr. J. Wesley's biographers, and indeed 
some of the family, supposed to have been written on 
the rector of Epworth. I was also led away by the 
common opinion, but saw my mistake before the first 
edition of this work went to the press, and wrote to the 
editor to examine the subject ; but owing to his press of 
business and my absence from the kingdom, the mistake 
was perpetuated. On a careful examination, I find the 
character is that of his wife's father, the Rev. John 
Berry ; for it was first presented to the public five years 
prior to the volume of poems being published. In proof 
of this, in the first volume of the Gentleman's Magazine 
for November, 1731, p. 504, it is thus advertised : " No. 
9, The Parish Priest, a poem upon a clergyman lately 
deceased, price 6d." In the minutes of the Spalding 
Society, which may be found in the 3rd volume of the 
Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, this poem is de- 
scribed as " the character of his wife's father, the Rev. 
Jno. Berry, M.A., vicar of Watton, in Norfolk." This 
is placed beyond all doubt by the original publication, 
thus dated : The Parish Priest, a poem upon a clergy- 
man, lately deceased : London, printed for J. Roberts, 
in Warwick Lane, 1731 ; price sixpence. There was a 
second edition in 1732; so that this poem, supposed to 


be on the death of the Rector of Epworth, was made 
and printed four or five years before his death. I find 
that Mr. Nichols, in his Literary Anecdotes, and also 
Chalmers, in his Biographical Dictionary, make the 
same statement from these authorities. In the History 
of Norfolk, 6 vols, fol., vol. iii., p. 590, it will be seen, 
" John Berry, M. A., was appointed to the living of 
Watton, Aug. 26, 1691, which he held till his death, 
which was in 1730. His successor was appointed Sept. 
30, 1730. Thus we find he held the living upwards of 
forty years. The poem, therefore, even in its letter, 
more correctly applies to him than to Samuel Wesley, 
who was only thirty-nine years rector of Epworth ; and 
the poet sings of his subject, — 

" While forty years his heavenly doctrine charms." 

The poem then will be found, in many instances, inap- 
plicable to Mr. Wesley. Mr. Berry's widow seems to 
have survived him many years, and to have resided with 
Mr. Samuel Wesley, as appears by a letter of Mrs. 
Susannah Wesley, dated March 8, 1732. See p. 111. 

But although this poem has been improperly supposed 
to refer to the rector of Epworth, the father, instead of 
the vicar of Watton, the father-in-law, yet the major 
part of it applies equally to the former. The hospitality, 
indeed, is described in it on a scale which the circum- 
stances of the rector of Epworth could not allow ; yet 
there are many proofs — proofs, too, the most convincing, 
that he was not only the friend but the feeder of the 
poor. At stated times, he also feasted the poor of his 
parish ; and the children of his own family actually 
served them while at their repast, and vied with each 
other, who should perform this labour of love with the 
greater cheerfulness and alacrity. 


That Samuel Wesley was liberal, according to his 
power, the records we have of him sufficiently prove.* 

With Miss Berry, the daughter of the rector of 
Watton, Mr. Samuel Wesley became acquainted at 
Westminster, where her parents then resided, and boarded 
young gentlemen belonging to the school. He was a 
most indulgent husband, and passionately fond of his 
wife, which is proved by his frequent poetical addresses 
to her after marriage. Though he was accustomed to 
boast of his authority as a husband, yet she had sense 
enough to rule under the appearance of submission. 
Mrs. Hall, who knew her, spoke of her as one who 

* In a sermon preached at Bow Church, before the trustees of 
Georgia, by J. Burton, D. D., March 15, 1732, to which is 
appended an account of monies and effects received and expended 
by the trustees, we find the following items : — 









"1731. Nov. 26. Rev. Samuel Wesley (sub.) 
Rev. Samuel Wesley (don.) 
" Nov. 20. Rev. Samuel Wesley, a pewter chalice 
and patine for present use iu Georgia, until silver 
ones are had. N. B. — Sent on board the Volente, 
Capt. Smyter, in December, 1732." 
" 1733. April 18. An unknown benefactor, by the 
hands of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, two silver 
chalices, and two patines for the use of the first 
church in the town of Savannah. Sent on board 
the Susannah, Capt. Bailey, May, 1733." 
He could not afford to give silver vessels to the temple ; but he 
g-ave what he could, vessels of pewter. His zeal provoked some 
unknown person, of greater ability, to present silver vessels for the 
sanctuary, and who sought the honour that cometh from God only ; 
and therefore, hiding himself from public view, made the good 
rector the instrument of presenting them to the society, and of 
transmitting them afterwards to that infant church. 


was well described in her husband's poetic tale, called 
u The Pig :" 

" She made her little wisdom go 
Farther than wiser women do." 

He had several children ; but only one daughter, 
called Phill in the preceding letters, lived to woman's 
estate. She married an apothecary, named Earle, in 
Barnstaple; whose chief motive in his marriage with 
her appeared to have been the expectation of succeeding 
to the title of Earl of Anglesea, which he imagined to be 
nearly extinct, and only recoverable through his wife, 
the daughter of Mr. Samuel Wesley ; and this even 
while John and Charles were alive, the latter having 
male issue ! This couple have been dead upwards of 
forty years. 

He had an only son, Samuel, who died young, but at 
what age I have not learned. His death appears to have 
been a heavy stroke to all the family ; and was particu- 
larly so to his grandfather, for the reasons which he 
alleges in the following consolatory letter, written to his 
son on the occasion ; and which appears to have been the 
answer to that in which he received the news of his 
death. A part of this letter contains some curious par- 
ticulars relative to his Dissertations on the Book of Job, 
which some of my readers at least will be pleased to see. 

" Letter to my son Sam, on the death of his only son 

"June 18, 1731. 
" Dear Son, 

" Yes, this is a thunderbolt indeed to your whole 
family ; but especially to me, who now am not likely to 
see any of my name in the third generation (tho' Job 


did in the fourth) to stand hefore God. However, this 
is a new demonstration to me that there must be a here- 
after ; because when the truest piety and filial duty have 
been showed, it has been followed by the loss of chil- 
dren, which therefore musl^ be restored and met with 
again, as Job's first ten were in another world. As I 
resolve from hence, as he directs, to stir up myself against 
the hypocrite, I trust I shall walk on my way, and grow 
stronger and stronger, as well as that God will support 
you both under this heavy and unspeakable affliction. 
But when and how did he die ? and where is his epitaph ? 
Tho' if sending this now, will too much refricare vulnw, 
I will stay longer for it. And now for the two letters. 

" First, that of May 27, from London ; sum is, 1st, As 
to the placing the Dissertations, wherein, as you say, the 
prolegomena are something of aguish, tho' that and all 
the rest I leave (as often before) to your judgment, for 
my memory is near gone ; neither have I the papers in 
any order by me. 

"2. The Poetica Descriptio Monstri, I think, would 
come in most naturally after all the Dissertations of the 
Behemoth and Leviathan; but you, having the whole 
before you, will be the most proper judge. 

" 3. Do with the De Carmine Pastoritio as you please. 
" 4. Periplus Rubri Maris comes with the geography, 
when Mr. Hoole has finished it. 

" 5. I remember no extracts but that from the Catena, 
which is 616 folio pages ; but I think I have got the 
main of it into thirty quartos, which I finished yesterday, 
though there is no haste in sending it, for I design it for 
the appendix. This to May 27. 

" Now to yours from the Isle of Ely, June 3, which 

relates to the children, and my last I leave to 

your mother, who writes this post if she has time ; tho' 


omething I have writ you already in my ult. or penult. 
>n the subject. 

As for the Testimonia Arianorum, ffegi rov Aoyov, it 
lappens well that I have a pretty good copy, though not 
,o perfect as that which is lost, and will get Mr. Hor- 
>erry to transcribe it as soon as he returns from Oxford ; 
ho I think it will not come in till towards the latter 
md of the work, as must your collation at the very end, 
mly before the appendix ; and I shall begin to revise it 

" Blessing on you and yours, from your loving father, 

"S. W" 

I believe the collation mentioned here is that at the 
end of the dissertations, and which I have described in 
another place. 

The appendix, of which I have a considerable portion 
in the author's MS. before me, does not appear to have 
been ever printed. It should have succeeded the colla- 
tion as stated above. 

It may be seen, from the accounts which have been 
written of the Rev. John Wesley, how earnestly his 
father wished him to succeed him in the rectory of Ep- 
worth ; and how strongly this was pressed upon him by 
his elder brother Samuel. But it is not so well known 
that Mr. Samuel was the first object of his fathers 
choice ; however, this is sufficiently evident from the fol- 
lowing letter, which I transcribe from the original ; and 
Mr. Samuel had evidently endeavoured to divert his 
father's wish, and to cause him to fix it on his brother 
John. The offer of Epworth to Samuel was made Feb- 
ruary, 1732 ; the offer of it to John, some time in the end 
of 1734 ; the letter, as referring to several family mat- 
ters, is interesting and curious. 


"Feb. 28, 1732-3. 
" Dear son Samuel, 

" For several reasons I have earnestly desired, espe- 
cially in and since my last sickness, that you might suc- 
ceed me in Epworth ; in order to Avhich I am willing 
and determined to resign the living, provided you could 
make an interest to have it in my room. 

" My first and hest reason for it is, because I am per- 
suaded you would serve God and his people here better 
than I have done. Tho v , thanks be to God, after near 
forty years' labour among them, they grow better, I having 
had above one hundred at my last sacrament, whereas I 
have had less than twenty formerly. My second reason 
relates to yourself, taken from gratitude, or rather from 
plain honesty. You have been a father to your brothers 
and sisters ; especially to the former, who have cost you 
great sums in their education, both before and since they 
went to the University. Neither have you stopped here ; 
but have showed your pity to your mother and me in 
a very liberal manner, wherein your wife joined "with 
you when you did not overmuch abound yourselves, and 
have even done noble charities to my children's children. 
Now what should I be if I did not endeavour to make 
you easy to the utmost of my power, especially when I 
know that neither of you have your health at London. 
My third is from honest interest ; I mean that of our 
family. You know our circumstances. As for your 
aged and infirm mother, as soon as I drop she must turn 
out, unless you succeed me ; which if you do, and she 
survives me, I know you'll immediately take her then to 
your own house, or rather continue her there; where 
your wife and you will nourish her, till we meet again 
in heaven ; and you will be a guide and a stay to the 
rest of the family. 



"There are a few things more which may seem to 
J>e tolerable reasons to me for desiring you to be my 
successor, whatever they may appear to others. I have 
been at very great and uncommon expense on this 
living— have rebuilt from the ground the parsonage- 
barn and dovecote ; leaded, and planked, and roofed a 
great part of my chancel ; rebuilt the parsonage-house 
twice when it had been burnt, the first time one wing, 
the second down to the ground, wherein I lost all my 
books and MSS., a considerable sum of money, all our 
linen, wearing apparel, and household stuff, except a 
little old iron, my wife and I being scorched with the 
flames, and all of us very narrowly escaping with life. 
This, by God's help, I built again, digging up the old 
foundations and laying new ones : it cost me above 400/., 
little or nothing of the old materials being left ; besides 
new furniture from top to bottom ; for we had now very 
little more than what Adam and Eve had when they 
first set up house-keeping. I then planted the two fronts 
of my house with wall-fruit the second time, as I had 
done the old, for the former all perished by the fire. I 
have before set mulberries in my garden, which bear 
plentifully, as lately cherries, pears, &c, and in the ad- 
joining croft walnuts, and am planting more every day. 
And this I solemnly declare, not with any manner of 
view, or so much as hopes, that any of mine should 
enjoy any of the fruit of my labour, when I have so long 
since outlived all my friends ; but my prospect was for 
some unknown person, that I might do what became me, 
and leave the living better than I found it. 

" And yet I might own I could not help wishing, as 
'twas natural, that all my care and charge might not be 
utterly sunk and lost to my family, but that some of 
them might be the better for it; tho' yet I despaired of 


it for the reason above-mentioned, till some time since 
the best of my parishioners pressed me earnestly to try 
if I could do anything in ' it : tho 1 all I can do is to 
resign it to" you ; which I am ready frankly and gladly 
to do ; scorning to make any conditions, for I know you 

" I commend this affair, and you and yours, to God, as 

" Your affectionate father, 

" S. Wesley." 

Strong characters will have enemies. Mr. S. Wesley, 
Jun., had such; and that he treated them with con- 
tempt, not silent, his works show : but his uprightness, 
steady friendship, benevolence, and charity, even those 
enemies confessed. In those times party ran, or rather 
raged, high. Those who loved him were persecuted ; 
and he manfully espoused their cause, and shared their 

His high-church principles may have amounted to 
bigotry, but never to intolerance ; for there were many 
among the dissenters whom he cordially esteemed, and 
with whom he lived in habits of friendship. See his 
poem " On the death of a female friend, a dissenter from 
the Church of England." By this piece he appears dis- 
pleased rather with the doctrines of unconditional repro- 
bation and election ; and especially as held by those who 
considered all others in a state of the utmost danger who 
did not hold their creed, and who thought sour godliness 
a test of saving grace. Such persons he certainly met 
with ; and such he points out in the following lines of 
the above-mentioned poem : — 

Wretches of every glimpse of day afraid, 
Souls under cloaks, and minds in masquerade : 


As if each look displayed its owner's fate ; 
And all that smiled were sealed for reprobate : 
As awkward sourness were a sign of grace ; 
And sure election blest an ugly face : 
As if hell-fire were always placed in view, 
Ordained for all men but the gloomy few. 

He knew that hypocrisy and fanaticism had mingled 
themselves with pure religion, in days comparatively 
recent ; and he was afraid of their revival. It was this 
fear that caused him to oppose his brothers as he did, 
when he found them going so far out of the beaten path 
of church regularity. Had it pleased God to have spared 
his life but a little longer, the reader may naturally sup- 
pose, from the evidence that has been already adduced, 
that he would have thought and spoken differently both 
of their manner of preaching, and the success of their 
ministry. We have already seen from indisputable evi- 
dence, that in these respects, as well as in reference to 
the doctrines they preached, his mind was considerably 
changed before he died; and that he died not only in 
" the faith which had been common to all Christians in, 
all ages," but in that faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through which he had, not a hypothetical hope, but an 
assurance of his personal and eternal salvation. This 
subject has already been discussed. Several of his poems, 
written to his sisters, will be found in the memoirs of 
their lives : and some more of his letters in the life of 
his brother John. 

For a due character of his poetic excellence, see Mr. 
Pitt's ode " To the unknown author of the Battle of 
the Sexes." 

Mr. Samuel Wesley lies buried in Tiverton Church- 
yard, with the following inscription on his grave-store. 


Here lye interred 

The remains of the Rev. Mr. Samuel Wesley, A. M. 

Sometime student of Christ-Church, Oxon : 

A man, for his uncommon wit and learning, 

For the benevolence of his temper, 

And simplicity of manners, 

Deservedly beloved and esteemed by all : 

An excellent preacher : 

But whose best sermon 

Was the constant example of an edifying life. 

So continually and zealously employed 

In acts of beneficence and charity, 

That he truly followed 

His blessed Master's example 

In going about doing good : 

Of such scrupulous integrity, 

That he declined occasions of advancement in the world, 

Through fear of being involved in dangerous compliances ; 

And avoided the usual ways to preferment 

As studiously as many others seek them. 

Therefore, after a life spent 
In the laborious employment of teaching youth, 

First for near twenty years 
As one of the ushers in Westminster School, 

Afterwards for seven years 

As head master of the free-school at Tiverton, 

He resigned his soul to God 

November 6th, 1739, in the 49th year of his age. 


Mr. S. Wesley had two daughters named Susan: 
The first, who was certainly his eldest female child, y\ 
born at South Ormsby, in 1691. In the register 
South Ormsby, her baptism is entered thus : — " Susan 
the Daughter of Samuel Wesley, Clerk, and Susan 
his wife, was baptized the 31st of March, 1691. Sarm 
Wesley, Hector." She died when about two years 


age, as 1 learn from the following entry in the same 
church. " Susanna, Daughter of Samuel Wesley, and 
Susanna his wife, was buried April 17, 1693." 


Of Emily "Wesley little is known ; she seems to have 
been the eldest of the seven daughters of the rector of 
Epworth, who survived their father, and came to 
woman's estate. She was born at South Ormsby, and 
was baptized in the church of that village, by her father, 
then its rector, Jan. 13, 1692, the entry being still ex- 
tant in the church register, and signed, " Samuel Wesley, 
Rector." She is reported to have been the favourite 
daughter of her mother (though this has been disputed 
in favour of Patty) ; and to have had strong sense, much 
wit, a prodigious memory, and a talent for poetry. She 
was a good classical scholar, and wrote a beautiful hand. 
I have not been able positively to ascertain any of her 
poetical compositions, as no verses remain to which her 
name is affixed. 

The following lines, describing Mr. John Wesley; are 
said to be hers ; and the late Miss Wesley, who gave 
them to me, was of opinion that she was the author, 
though her name is not affixed ; and for this opinion she 
gave me this reason, that " Emily Wesley was known to 
have written some encomiastic verses upon her brother 


" His eyes diffuse a venerable grace • 

And charity itself is in his face. 

Humble and meek, learn'd, pious, prudent, just, 

Of good report, and faithful to his trust : 

Vigilant, sober, watchful of his charge, 

Who feeds his sheep, and doth their folds enlarge." 


She married an apothecary at Epworth, of the name 
of Harper, who left her a young widow. What pro- 
portion the intellect of Mr. Harper bore to that of 
his wife, we know not ; but in politics they were ill- 
suited, as he was a violent whig, and she an unbending 

Her mother took much pains for the improvement ot 
her mind, and the welfare of her soul, as may be seen 
by a MS. still preserved, consisting of sixty 4to. pages, 
entitled, " A Religious Conference between M. and E. ;" 
with this motto, " ' 1 write unto you, little children, of 
whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed 
in you,' Gal. iv. 19. May what is sown in weakness 
be raised in power ! Written for the use of my chil- 
dren, 1711-12." See p. 75. Indorsed by Mr. John 
Wesley as follows, "My mothers conference with her 

A letter of hers to her brother John, dated February 
16th, 1750, has already been inserted at the conclusion 
of the account of the disturbances in the parsonage- 
house at Epworth : it proves that Jeffrey continued his 
operations at least thirty-four or thirty-five years after 
he retired from Epworth. 

It appears, from the education given to Miss Emily, 
and some others of her sisters, that their parents de- 
signed them for governesses. About the year 1730, 
Emily became teacher at the boarding-school of a Mrs. 
Taylor, in Lincoln, where, though she had the whole 
care of the school, she was not well used, and was worse 
paid. Having borne this usa^e as long as reason would 
dictate forbearance, she laid the case before her brothers, 
with a resolution to set up school on her own account at 
Gainsborough. She had their approbation ; gave Mrs. 
Taylor warning, and went to Gainsborough ; where she 


continued at least till 1735, as she was there at the time 
of her father s death. 

Several of these particulars we learn from the follow- 
ing letter, written to her brother John, when she had 
made up her mind to leave Lincoln, and go to Gains- 

" Dearest Brother, 
"Your last letter comforted and settled my mind 
wonderfully. continue to talk to me of the reason- 
ableness of resignation to the divine will, to enable me 
to bear cheerfully the ills of life, the lot appointed me ; 
and never to suffer grief so far to prevail, as to injure 
my health, or long to cloud the natural cheerfulness of 
my temper. I had writ long since, but had a mind to 
see first how my small affairs would be settled ; and now 
can assure you, that at lady-day I leave Lincoln cer- 
tainly. You was of opinion, you may remember, that 
my leaving Mrs. Taylor would not only prove prejudicial 
to her affairs (and so far all the town agrees with you), 
but would be a great affliction to her. I own I thought 
so too ; but we both were a little mistaken. She re- 
ceived the news of my going with an indifference I did 
not expect. Never was such a teacher, as I may justly 
say I have been, so foolishly lost, so unnecessarily dis- 
obliged. Had she paid my last year's wages but the 
day before Martinmas, I still had staid : instead of that, 
she has received one hundred and twenty pounds within 
these three months, and yet never would spare one six 
or seven pounds for me, which I am sure no teacher will 
ever bear. The jest is, she fancies I never knew of any 
money she received; when, alas! she can never have 
one five pounds but I know of it. I have so satisfied 
brother Sam, that he wishes me good success at Gains- 


fcro', and says he can no longer oppose my resolution ; 
which pleases me much, for I would gladty live civilly 
with him, and friendly with you. 

"I have a fairer prospect at Gainsbro' even than I 
could hope for ; my greatest difficulty will be want of 
money at my first entrance. I shall furnish my school 
with canvas, worsteds, silks, &c, &c, and am much 
afraid of being dipt in debt at first : but God's will be 
done ! Troubles of that kind are what I have been 
used to. Will you lend me the other 3/., which you 
designed for me at lady -day ? it would help me much : 
you will if you can, I am sure, — for so would I do by 
you. I am half-starved with cold, which hinders me 
from writing longer. Emery is no better. Mrs. Taylor 
and Kitty give their service. Pray send soon to me. 
Kez is gone home for good and all. I am knitting Bro. 
Charles a fine purse ; pray my love to him. 
" I am, dear Brother, 
" Your loving Sister and constant Friend, 

" Emilia Wesley." 

As Mrs. Harper makes no mention of her husband in 
her letter to Mr. Wesley in 1750, it is likely he was 
dead before that time. She had one child, whom she 
calls Tetty : but whether she survived her mother we do 
not know. 

Mrs. Harper is represented as a fine woman ; of a 
noble, yet affable countenance, and of a kind and affec- 
tionate disposition. She was left without property : but 
in her widowhood, for many years, till her death, she 
was maintained entirely by her brothers, and lived at 
the preachers' house adjoining to the chapel in West 
Street, Seven Dials, London. 

Mr. John Wesley has been stated by some of his 


biographers to have had no family affections. This is 
any thing but truth : almost the whole family were cast 
upon his care after his father's death ; and were wholly, 
kindly, and affectionately supported by him. A proof 
of his kindness is seen in the case of Mrs. Harper. She 
had a maid to whom she was greatly attached. This 
woman also Mr. Wesley supported, that she might at- 
tend upon her mistress, though there was a regular 
servant, whose business it was to wait on the family in 
that house. 

This slander, of the want of family affections, of 
which certain persons have made so uncandid a use, 
might have arisen from one of Emily's letters to her 
brother, which, in a petulant humour, she wrote some 
time in the year 1743; against which, in a pointed 
letter, Mr. Wesley answers from Newcastle, in the same 
year. That of Miss Emily I have not seen; but its 
leading features are sufficiently evident in the following 
answer : — 

" Newcastle, June 30, 1743. 
" Dear Emmy, 
" Once, I think, I told you my mind freely before : I 
am constrained to do so once again. You say, ' From 
the time of my coming to London, till last Christmas, 
you would not do me the least kindness. Do I dream, 
or you ? Whose house was you in for three months, 
and upwards ? By whose money was you sustained ? 
It is a poor case, that I am forced to mention these 
things. But ' I would not take you lodgings in fifteen 
weeks.' No, nor should I have done in fifteen years. 
I never once imagined that you expected me to do this ! 
Shall I leave the word of God to serve tables ? You 
should know I have quite other things to mind : tem- 

VOL. II, n 


poral things I shall regard less and less. ' When I was 
removed, you never concerned yourself about me.' That 
is not the fact. What my brother does, I do. Besides, 
I myself spoke to you abundance of times, before Christ- 
mas last. ' When at preaching, you would scarce speak 
to me.' Yes ; at least as much as to my sister Wright, 
or, indeed, as I did to any one else at those times. ' I 
impute all your unkindness to one principle you hold, 
that natural affection is a great weakness, if not a sin." 
What is this principle I hold? That natural affection 
is a sin ? or that adultery is a virtue ? or that Mahomet 
was a prophet of God ? And that Jesus Christ was a 
son of Belial ? You may as well impute all these prin- 1 
ciples to me as one. I hold one just as much as the 
other. O Emmy, never let that idle, senseless accusation 
come out of your mouth. 

"Do you hold that principle, 'That we ought to be 
just (i. e„, pay our debts) before we are merciful ?' If 
I held it, I should not give one shilling for these two 
years, either to you, or any other. And, indeed, I have 
for some time stayed my hand ; so that I give next to 
nothing, except what I give to my relations. And I am 
often in doubt with regard to that. Not, whether natural 
affection be not a sin ? But, whether it ought to super- 
sede common justice ? You know nothing of my tem- 
poral circumstances, and the straits I am in, almost con-^ 
tinually ; so that were it not for the reputation of my 
great riches, I could not stand one week.* I have now 
done with myself, and now have only a few words to 

* For a considerable time, Mr. Wesley was responsible for the 
debts, not only on several chapels and houses, but also for support 
of the preachers and their families. To these oppressive responsi- 
bilities he refers in the above sentence. 


add concerning you. You are of all creatures the most 
unthankful to God and man. I stand amazed at you. 
How little have you profited under such means of im- 
provement! Surely whenever your eyes are opened, 
whenever you see your own tempers, with the advan- 
tages you have enjoyed, you will make no scruple to 
pronounce yourself (whores and murderers not excepted) 
the very chief of sinners. 

" I am, &c. 

" J. Wesley." 

Before Mrs. Harper became a resident in the preach- 
ers' house at West Street, she was a constant attendant 
on the ministry of her brothers at the Old Foundry, by 
which she considerably profited. After she came to 
West Street, her privileges became greater, as her oppor- 
tunities of attending the means of grace were multiplied; 
and for this attendance she had every facility, as the 
apartments of the family opened into the chapel from 
the first-floor; and by throwing up some sashes that 
separated the house and the chapel, behind the pulpit, 
every convenience was afforded for hearing, without the 
trouble of ever going out of doors. In this comfortable 
retreat, in the very bosom of the church, Mrs. Harper 
terminated her earthly existence at a very advanced age, 
some time between the years 1770 and 1772. 

Though she survived the major part of her incompa- 
rable memory, which was much impaired previously to 
her death, yet her peculiarly benevolent and even temper 
never forsook her. That her mind was highly cultivated, 
and her taste exquisite, we have some proof in the as- 
sertion of her brother, Mr. John Weslev : " Mv sister 
Harper was the best reader of Milton I ever heard." 
The life of such a woman must have furnished innu- 



merable anecdotes of the most instructive kind : but, 
alas ! for want of a collector, they have been borne away 
long since on the gale that never returns, and buried in 
the viewless regions of endless oblivion. 

The following nervous lines, addressed to her some 
time before her marriage, were written by her sister, 
Mrs. Wright : — 

My fortunes often bid me flee 
So light a thing as Poetry : 
But stronger inclination draws, 
To follow Wit and Nature's laws. — 
Virtue, Form, and Wit in thee 
Move in perfect harmony : 
For thee my tuneful voice I'll raise, 
For thee compose my softest lays ; 
My youthful muse shall take her flight, 
And crown thy beauteous head with radiant beams of light. 

True Wit and sprightly Genius shine 
In every turn, in every line : — 
To these, O skilful Nine, annex 
The native sweetness of my sex ; 
And that peculiar talent let me show 
Which Providence divine doth oft bestow 
On spirits that are high, with fortunes that -are low. 

Thy virtues and thy graces all, 

How simple, free, and natural ! 

Thy graceful form with pleasure I survey ; 

It charms the eye, — the heart, away. — 

Malicious Fortune did repine, 

To grant her gifts to worth like thine ! 

To all thy outward majesty and grace, 
To all the blooming features of thy face, 
To all the heavenly sweetness of thy mind, 
A noble, generous, equal soul is joined, 
By reason polished, and by arts refined. 


Thy even, steady eye can see 
Dame Fortune smile, or frown at thee ; 
At every varied change can say, It moves not me ! 

Fortune has fixed thee in a place 
Debarred of Wisdom, Wit, and Grace. 
High births and Virtue equally they scorn, 
As asses dull, on dunghills born : 
Impervious as the stones, their heads are found ; 
Their rage and hatred stedf'ast as the ground. 
With these unpolished wights thy youthful days 
Glide slow and dull, and Nature's lamp decays : 
O what a lamp is hid, 'midst such a sordid race ! 

But though thy brilliant virtues are obscured, 
And in a noxious, irksome den immured ; 
My numbers shall thy trophies rear, 
And lovely as she is, my Emily appear. 
Still thy transcendent praise I will rehearse, 
And form this faint description into verse ; 
And when the Poet's head lies low in clay, 
Thy name shall shine in worlds which never can decay. 

Wroote was the place of which Mrs. Wright speaks 
so degradingly ; and on which her brother Samuel wrote 
a mock heroic poem, which he inscribed to his sister 
Hetty. The parsonage-house at that place he thus 
describes : — 

The House is good, and strong, and clean, 
Though there no battlements are seen, 
But humble roof of thatch, I ween 

Low rooms from rain to cover. 
Where safe from poverty (sore ill !) 
All may live happy if they will, 
As any that St. James's fill, 

Th' Escurial, or the Louvre. 

What happiness ! then to be driven 
Where powers of saving may be given ! 
To hope for unmolested heaven 

While here on earth — too soon is : 


But this is certain, if you're wise, 
Wroote is the seat of Paradise, 
As much as any place that lies 
On earth beside the moon is. 

Tis true no fairy lands are there ; 
No spring to flourish all the year ; 
No bushes that perfumes will bear, 

Flowers, fruits, together springing ; 
Where Phoebus, with perpetual beams, 
Glitters from gently gliding streams, 
And Nymphs are lulled to pleasing dreams 

By Philomela singing. 

There was scarcely a bush in the place : for Wroote 
was situated in the low levels of Lincolnshire, and often 
covered with water,, and the produce of the ground 
swept away ! 


(probably twins.) 

Op these, nothing beyond what is contained in the 
church register of South Ormsby is known. The entries 
relative to them are as follow : " Annesley and Jedediah, 
the sons of Samuel Wesley, and Susannah his wife, 
were baptized Dec. 3, 1694." 

They were both short-lived, probably the former not 
more than a month and a few days ; for immediately 
after his baptism is the following entry of his death : 
"Annesley Wesley was buried Jan." No date is given; 
but from the connexion in which it stands, it must have 
been Jan., 1695. Jedediah's death is registered thus : 
" Jedediah, the son of Samuel Wesley, and Susannah 
his wife, was buried Jan. 31," probably in the same 
year; though, from other entries in the same page of 
the register, it might appear to be the following year, 



She was born in 1795, and was the third daughter of 
Mr. S. Wesley. Of her youth I find but little. She 
is reported to have been good-natured, very facetious, 
and a little romantic, but behaved herself with the 
strictest moral correctness. She was married in or 
before the year 1721, to Richard Ellison, Esq., a gen- 
tleman of good family, who farmed his own estate, and 
had a very respectable establishment. Of this man, 
Mrs. Wesley, sen., gives a most unfavourable character, 
as we have already seen, in a letter to her brother in the 
East Indies: "My second daughter, Sukey, a pretty 
woman, and worthy a better fate, when by your last un- 
kind letters she perceived that all her hopes in you were 
frustrated, rashly threw herself upon a man (if a man 
he may be called that is little inferior to the apostate 
angels in wickedness) that is not only her plague, but a 
constant affliction to the family." She bore him several 
children ; but the marriage, as might be expected from 
such a man, like some others in the Wesley family, was 
an unhappy one. She had a mind naturally strong and 
vivacious, and well refined by a good education : his 
was common, coarse, and uncultivated ; morose, and 
too much inclined to despotic sway; which prevented 
conjugal happiness. Unfitness of minds, more than cir- 
cumstances, is what in general mars the marriage union. 
Where minds are suited, means of happiness and con- 
tentment are ever within reach ; but where coarseness, 
brutality, and profligacy are united in the same person, 
all hope of happiness, in married life, is necessarily 
cut off. 


. Susan was much beloved by her sister Hetty (Mrs. 
Wright), and with her Mr. Ellison, for a time, was a 
high favourite. 

What little domestic happiness could be derived from 
easy circumstances was not only interrupted, but finally 
destroyed, by a distressing accident. A fire took place 
in their dwelling-house, by which it, and all their pro- 
perty, were destroyed: the family alone escaped with 
their lives, and in consequence were all scattered among 
different relations. What the cause of this fire was, I 
cannot learn ; but from that time Mrs. Ellison would 
never more live with her husband ! She went to 
London, and hid herself among some of her children, 
who were established there, and had considerable helps 
from her brother John, the common almoner of the 
family. Mr. Ellison used many means to get her to 
return ; but she utterly refused either to see him, or to 
have any intercourse with him. 

As he knew her affectionate disposition, in order to 
bring her down to Lincolnshire, he advertised an account 
of his death ! When this account met her ear, she 
immediately set off to Lincolnshire to pay the last tribute 
of respect to his remains : but when she found him 
alive and well, she returned ; and no persuasion could 
induce her to live with him. 

It does not appear that she communicated to any 
person the cause of this aversion and dislike, then so 
suddenly brought into action ; and at this distance of 
time, it is useless to pursue it by conjecture. The 
general profligacy of his character, no doubt, rendered 
him insupportable ; and probably something took place 
at that time which caused her to put a resolution, long 
before formed, into execution. She had several children, 


four of whom are traced and well remembered — John, 
Ann, Deborah, and Richard Annesley Ellison. 

1. John Ellison lived and died at Bristol. He was 
an officer in the Excise, or Customs; and left two 
daughters by his first wife: — Elizabeth Ellison, who 
turned out unfortunate, and to whom I have known Mr. 
J. Wesley show great kindness, often relieving her in 
distresses to which her imprudence had reduced her, 
treating her with great tenderness, and giving her ad- 
vices which, had she followed, would have led her to 
true happiness ; and Patience Ellison, who married 
in Bristol, was a member of a dissenting congregation 
in that city, and conducted herself as a useful member 
of society, and a genuine Christian. He also left a son, 
named John, by a second wife ; a respectable man, in 
good circumstances ; still, for aught I know, resident in 

2. Ann Ellison married Mr. Pierre le Lievre, a French 
protestant refugee. He left one son, Peter le Lievre, 
who was educated at Kingswood School ; took orders in 
the Church of England ; and lately died at his living of 
Lutterworth, in Leicestershire. He was accounted a 
worthy, religious man, and has left a family in comfort- 
able circumstances. Two of his letters are inserted in 
the Arminian Magazine, vol. xi., p. 498 ; and vol. xii., 
p. 274. His son is a clergyman of good character. 
This Ann Ellison made a second marriage with a gen- 
tleman named Gaunt, who soon left her a widow. It 
was in the house of this Mrs. Gaunt, that her mother, 
formerly Susanna Wesley, died in London. The year 
of this second marriage, I have not been able to 

3. Deborah Ellison married another French refugee, 
Mr. Pierre Collet, father of Mrs, Biam, and of the 



Colle£ yet alive. Both Lievre and Collet were silk- 

4. Richard Annesley Ellison died at twenty-seven, 
leaving two orphan daughters, of whom Mrs. Yoysey 
is one, an excellent warm-hearted Christian, and wife 
of a pious dissenting minister. This excellent couple 
have four children ; one a surgeon in the East In- 
dies, another an architect, and two amiable daughters, 
one of whom is lately married, and settled respectably. 

At present, three of Susanna Wesley's grand-children 
are alive; the above-mentioned Mrs. Yoysey, Mrs. 
Biam, and Mr. Collet, brother of him who forged cer- 
tain letters intended to traduce the character of Mr. 
John Wesley, a man to whom he was under the highest 
obligations. He is dead: but it is comfortable to be 
able to add, that all his forgeries were detected, and that 
he confessed and repented of those calumnies with 
which all the family were shocked, for they held them 
in abhorrence. 

Mrs. Gaunt (Ann Ellison, afterwards Lievre) was a 
fine-looking, stout woman, under the middle size, with 
an abundance of wit. She died in London, chiefly 
supported in her latter years by Mr. John Wesley, and 
her son Lievre. 

Susanna Wesley lived awhile with her uncle, Matthew 
Wesley, after which she appears to have been some time 
in Lincoln as a teacher ; and probably, on Emily's re- 
moval to Gainsborough, assisted her in her new settle- 
ment. It was to Susanna that her mother sent that 
beautiful exposition of the Apostles' Creed, which the 
reader will find entered under the life of Mrs. Susanna 
Wesley, sen. See farther mention of this lady in the 
memoir of Miss Kezziah Wesley. 



Mary Wesley stands the fourth on the list of the 
grown up female children of the Rev. Samuel Wesley. 
Through afflictions, and probably some mismanagement 
in her nurse, she became considerably deformed in her 
body ; and her growth in consequence was much stinted, 
and her health injured : but all written and oral testi- 
mony concurs in the statement that her face was ex- 
quisitely beautiful, and was a fair and very legible index 
to a mind and disposition almost angelic. Her humble, 
obliging, even, and amiable disposition, made her the 
favourite and delight of the whole family. Mr. John 
and Mr. Charles Wesley frequently spoke of her, and 
ever with the most tender respect ; and her sister Hetty, 
no mean judge of character, with whom she was an 
especial favourite, spoke and wrote of her as one of the 
most exalted of human characters. 

She married, with the high approbation of all the 
family, Mr. John Whitelamb, of whom some mention 
has already been made, and whose history it is necessary 
to pursue a little farther. He was the son of parents 
at that time in very low circumstances, and was put to 
a charity school at Wroote, superintended by the Rev. 
John Romley; of whom it is worthy of remark, that 
in the course of a very few months, under the direction 
of the Rev. S. Wesley, sen., he learned to read, write, 
and speak the Greek language with facility and con- 
siderable elegance. 

I have these particulars in a Greek epistle to Mr. 
Charles Wesley, now lying before me, written in the 
year 1732. Mr. Romley studied divinity under S. Wes- 
ley, sen. ; graduated at Lincoln college, Oxford ; and 


was for a time the curate of Mr. Wesley (I believe at 
Wroote,) who had given him the first part of his educa- 
tion, and to whom he was for some time amanuensis. 
He was a member of the Gentleman's Society at Spald- 
ing; and in 1730 presented to that Society an "Account 
of the Manors, Villages, Seats, and Church of Althorp, 
in Lincolnshire." This Society was founded at Spalding, 
in Lincolnshire, in the year 1710, by Maurice Johnson, 
Esq., of the Inner Temple. 

Of this society Mr. Samuel Wesley, sen., became a 
member, January 9, 1723; and his son Samuel was 
elected a member September 18, 1729. — See the History 
of it in Nichol's Literary Anecdotes, Vol. VI. 

It is likely that Mr. Romley recommended young 
Whitelamb to Mr. Wesley's notice, as a lad of promising 
abilities ; for we find that Mr. Wesley took him to his 
house ; that he became his amanuensis in the place of 
Mr. Romley ; designed the plates for Mr. Wesley's Dis- 
sertations on the Book of Job, and engraved several of 
them with his own hand. 

Under the care of the rector of Epworth, he obtained 
a sufficient knowledge of Latin and Greek to enter the 
university ; and at the expense, chiefly, of Mr. Wesley's 
family, then indeed in very low circumstances, he was 
maintained at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he ob- 
tained his education gratis under Mr. John Wesley, then 
a fellow of that college. In the preceding memoirs we 
have met with this young man frequently; especially 
in the letters of the rector of Epworth, and of Mrs 

He suffered great privations in order to acquire a suffi- 
ciency of learning to pass through the university and 
obtain orders. It is in reference to this, that Mrs. Wes- 
ley calls him " poor starvling Johnny." So low were 


his circumstances that he could not procure himself 
clothes, and could not purchase a gown when ordained. 
In every respect the Wesley family divided with him 
according to their power ; and by his humble and up- 
right conduct, he did honour to himself, and repaid their 
kindness. When he got orders, Mr. Wesley made him 
his curate in Wroote ; and having engaged Miss Mary- 
Wesley's affections, they were married, and Mr. Wesley 
gave up to him the living of Wroote, which, as we have 
seen, he petitioned the Lord Chancellor to confirm ; as 
that living, as well as Epworth, was in the gift of the 
crown ; and he was promoted to it by the Chancellor on 
February 9, 1734, See the petition to the Chancellor, 
and the high character given of this young man, in the 
life of the Rector of Epworth. 

But it appears that he afterwards swerved from the 
simplicity of the gospel, fell into doubts concerning the 
truth of divine revelation, and at last became a deist ! I 
find no particulars of his reconversion : but that it did 
take place I infer from a note by Mr. John Wesley, on 
a letter of his printed in the first volume of the Ar- 
minian Magazine, containing the following passage : 
" To be frank, I cannot but look upon your doctrines as 
of ill consequence. Consequence I say; for, take them 
nakedly in themselves, nothing seems more innocent, 
nay, good and holy. Suppose we grant that in you and 
the rest of the leaders, who are men of sense and dis- 
cernment, what is called the seal and testimony of the 
Spirit is something real ; yet, I have great reason to 
think, that in the generality of your followers it is 
merely the effect of a heated imagination." — September 
2, 1742. The note is, "No wonder he should think so; 
for at that time, and for some years after, he did not 
believe the Christian revelation." From which it ap- 


pears, that some years after he was brought back to the 
Christian faith. Mr. Southey seems to doubt of his ever 
haying been a deist : but surely Mr. Wesley's testimony 
is sufficient on this point, to whom, Mr. Whitelamb says, 
he had opened his whole mind. 

Mr. Wesley knew him to have been a deist, though 
in other respects an amiable man ; and he produced his 
deism as the reason, and at the same time excuse, for 
his believing that all pretensions to experimental religion 
were the effect of a heated imagination. 

Mr. Romley was not so mindful of his obligations to 
the Wesley family. On September 6, 1742, when Mr. 
Wesley visited Epworth, he offered to assist Mr. Romley, 
who was then curate, by either preaching or reading 
prayers ; but the gentleman refused to let him do either, 
and went immediately and preached a sermon against 
enthusiasm ! In the evening Mr. Wesley preached in 
the church-yard, standing on the tomb of his father. 
Mr. Whitelamb was in the congregation, and wrote to 
him the following letter in a few days after ; which, be- 
cause it is so creditable to his feelings, and to the sense 
he still retained of the many favours which he had re- 
ceived from him and from his family, I shall insert. 

"June 11, 1742 
" Dear Brother, 

" I saw you at Epworth on Tuesday evening. Fain 
would I have spoken to you, but that I am quite at a 
loss to know how to address or behave. 

" Your way of thinking is so extraordinary that your 
presence creates an awe, as if you were an inhabitant of 
another world. God grant you and your followers may 
always have entire liberty of conscience. — Will not you 
allow others the same ? 


" Indeed I cannot think as you do, any more than I 
can help honouring and loving you. Dear Sir, wiD you 
credit me? — I retain the highest veneration and affection 
for you. The sight of you moves me strangely. My 
heart overflows with gratitude : I feel in a higher degree 
all that tenderness and yearning of bowels, with which 
I am affected towards every branch of Mr. Wesley's 
family. I cannot refrain from tears when I reflect, — 
this is the man who at Oxford was more than a father 
to me ; this is he whom I have heard expound, or 
dispute publicly, or preach at St. Mary's, with such 
applause; and — O that I should ever add — whom I have 
lately heard preach at Epwortb, on his father's tomb- 
stone ! 

" I am quite forgot. None of the family ever honour 
me with a line ! Have I been ungrateful ? I appeal to 
sister Patty, I appeal to Mr. Ellison, whether I have or 
no. I have been passionate, fickle, a fool : but I hope I 
shall never be ungrateful. 

" Dear Sir, is it in my power to serve or oblige you 
any way ? Glad I should be that you would make use 
of me. God open all our eyes, and lead us into truth 
wherever it be ! 

"John Whitelamb." 

His wife Mary did not long survive her marriage. 
She died in child-bed of her first child. How all the 
family could quite have forgotten Mr. Whitelamb I can- 
not tell. There must have been something improper in 
his conduct : indeed, he seems to hint at this in the 
above letter; "I have been passionate, fickle, a fool;"— 
and in one of the 2nd of September, in the same year, 
1742, to Charles, he writes : "J. Whitelamb was never 
either ungrateful, or vicious ; though, by the heat of 


youthful blood, and want of experience in the world, he 
has been betrayed into very great follies." The Mr. 
Ellison mentioned above was the husband of Susanna 
Wesley ; and Patty was Mrs. Hall ; one of whom has 
just preceded, and the other will be mentioned in her 
proper place. 

That Mr. Wesley still felt a parental affection and 
anxiety for his old pupil Mr. Whitelamb, and especially 
in reference to his eternal interests, as will appear from 
the following extract of one of his letters to Mrs. Wood- 
house of Epworth, in answer to one which that lady 
had written, giving an account of Mr. Whitelamb's 

" Oct. 4, 1769. 

« How long is it since Mr. Whitelamb 

died? What disease did he die of? Did he lie ill 
for any time ? Do you know any circumstances preced- 
ing or attending his death ? Oh, why did he not die 
forty years ago, while he knew in whom he had be- 
lieved ! Unsearchable are the counsels of God, and 
his ways past finding out. 

" John Wesley." 

The Whitelamb family have been long very respect- 
able in Lincolnshire, and particularly at Wroote, where 
one of them succeeded to the pastoral charge in that 
parish ; and was remarkable for his various learning, and 
especially for his great skill in mathematics. 

As for the husband of Miss Mary Wesley, we may 
charitably hope, from his sound education, and his long- 
tried piety, that whatever doubts might for a time have 
obscured his views of the sacred records, and paralysed 
his religious feelings and experience, his former princi- 


pies regained their influence and ascendency, and that 
he died in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

The verses to Mrs. Whitelamb's memory, with her 
epitaph, composed by her sister Wright, I think it proper 
to subjoin ; from which we learn that she was a most 
steady and affectionate friend; was deeply devoted to 
God ; full of humility and goodness ; and diligent in all 
the duties of life. 

But she was a "Wesley ; and in that singular family 
excellencies of all kinds were to be found, and the female 
part were as conspicuous as the male. 

In the following lines, which are full of mind and 
feeling, we shall find allusion to the source whence the 
miseries of Mrs. Wright's life proceeded. These will be 
considered at large in the account of herself. 



If blissful spirits condescend to know, 
And hover round what once they loved below ; 
Maria ! gentlest excellence ! attend 
To her, who glories to have called thee friend ! 
Remote in merit, though allied in blood, 5 

Unworthy I, and thou divinely good ! 
Accept, blest shade, from me these artless lays, 
Who never could unjustly blame, or praise. 
How thy economy and sense outweighed 

The finest wit in utmost pomp displayed, 10 

Let others sing, while I attempt to paint 
The god-like virtues of the friend and saint. 

With business and devotion never cloyed, 
No moment of thy life passed unemployed, 
Well-natured mirth, matured discretion joined, 15 

Constant attendants of the virtuous mind. 


From earliest dawn of youth, in thee well known, 

The saint sublime and finished Christian shone. 

Yet would not graee one grain of pride allow, 

Or cry, " Stand off, I'm holier than thou." 20 

A worth so singular since time began, 

But one surpassed, and He was more than man. 

When deep immersed in griefs beyond redress, 

And friend and kindred heightened my distress, 

And with relentless efforts made me prove 25 

Pain, grief, despair, and wedlock without love ; 

My soft Maria could alone dissent, 

O'erlooked the fatal vow, and mourned the punishment ! 

Condoled the ill, admitting no relief, 

With such infinitude of pitying grief, 30 

That all who could not their demerit see, 

Mistook her wond'rous love for worth in me ; 

No toil, reproach, or sickness could divide 

The tender mourner from her Stella's side ; 

My fierce inquietude, and maddening care, 55 

Skillful to soothe, or resolute to share ! 

Ah me ! that heaven has from this bosom tore 
My angel-friend, to meet on earth no more j 
That this indulgent spirit soars away, 

Leaves but a still insentient mass of clay ; 40 

E'er Stella could discharge the smallest part 
Of all she owed to such immense desert ; 
Or could repay with aught but feeble praise 
The sole companion of her joyless days ! 

Nor was thv form unfair, though heaven confined 45 

To scanty limits thy exalted mind. 
Witness thy brow serene, benignant, clear, 
That none could doubt transcendent truth dwelt there ; 
Witness the taintless whiteness of thy skin, 
Pure emblem of the purer soul within : 50 

That soul, which tender, unassuming, mild, 
Through jetty eyes with tranquil sweetness smiled. 
But ah ! could fancy paint, or language speak, 
The roseate beauties of thy lip or cheek, 


Where nature's pencil, leaving art no room, 55 

Touched to a miracle the vernal bloom. 

(Lost though thou art) in Stella's deathless line. 

Thy face immortal as thy fame shall shine. 

To soundest prudence (life's unerring guide), 
To love sincere, religion without pride ; 60 

To friendship perfect in a female mind 
Which I nor hope nor wish on earth to find ; 
To mirth (the balm of care) from lightness free, 
Unblemished faith, unwearied industry ; 

To every charm and grace combined in you, 65 

Sister and friend ! — a long, a last adieu ! 


Line 1. Happy spirits are allowed. — Blissful spirits condescend 

Line 6. Though worthless I. — Unworthy I. 

Line 7. Dear. — Blest. 

Line 8. Burst. — Could. 

Sixteen lines are entirely left out, beginning — From earliest dawn. 

Lines 31, 32, 35, and 36, are entirely left out. 

Line 37. Torn.— Tore, 

Line 38. The dearest friend whom I must ever mourn. 

Lines 39, 40. Left out. 

Line 45. Pleasing thy face and form. — Nor was thy form unfair. 

Line 46. Exte7isive. — Exalted. 

Line 49. Lustre. — Whiteness. 

Line 50. Bright, brighter. — Pure, purer. 

Line 51. Easy and affected. — Tender, unassuming. 

Line 5?. Cheerful.— Tranquil. 

The four next lines are left out, beginning — But, ah ! could fancy 

Line 60. Void of— Without. 
Line 62. Which I can never, hope again. — Nor hope nor wish on 

Line 64. To stedfast truth.— Unblemished faith. 
Line 66. Long and last adieu. 


\ copy of these verses was published in the Gentle 
man's Magazine for December, 1736, Vol. VI., p. 740 
with the following inscription : " To the memory of Mrs 
Mary Whitelamb, daughter of the late Rev. Mr. Weslej 
rector of " Ep worth and Wroote." From it I have re 
covered a few stanzas omitted in the MS. ; otherwise l 
is very imperfect. 



If highest worth, in beauty's bloom, 
Exempted mortals from the tomb ; 
We had not round this sacred bier 
Mourned the sweet babe and mother here, 
Where innocence from harm is blest, 
And the meek sufferer is at rest ! 
Fierce pangs she bore without complaint, 
Till heaven relieved the finished saint. 

If savage bosoms felt her woe, 
(Who lived and died without a foe,) 
How should I mourn, or how commend, 
My tenderest, dearest, firmest friend 1 
Most pious, meek, resigned, and chaste, 
With every social virtue graced ! 

If, reader, thou wouldst prove, and know, 
The ease she found not here below ; 
Her bright example points the way 
To perfect bliss, and endless day. 

I have not been able to recover anything writte 
either in prose or verse by Mrs. Whitelamb ; and with 
out this short and imperfect memoir, her name woul 
have been soon consigned to oblivion. 



Mehetabel Wesley, called also Hetty, and by her 
brother Samuel sometimes Kitty, is the fifth female child 
of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, as they stand on my 
list of his survivors : but she was probably their tenth 
or eleventh child ; for several had died in infancy, whose 
names are now forgotten. 

Hetty gave from her infancy such proofs of strong 
mental powers as led her parents to cultivate them with 
the utmost care and diligence, that they might be ex- 
tended, properly directed, and bring forth corresponding 

The pains taken with her education were crowned 
with success ; for at the early age of eight years she had 
made such proficiency in the learned languages that she 
could read the Greek Testament. 

She had naturally a fine poetic genius, which, though 
common to the whole family, shone forth in her with 
peculiar splendour, and was heightened by her knowledge 
of the fine models of antiquity. 

From her childhood she was gay and sprightly ; full of 
mirth, good-humour, and keen wit. She indulged this 
disposition so much, that it was said to have given great 
uneasiness to her parents ; because she was in conse- 
quence often betrayed into little inadvertencies, which, 
though of small moment in themselves, showed that her 
mind was not under proper discipline ; and that fancy, 
not reason, often dictated that line of conduct which she 
thought proper to pursue. A spirit of this kind is a 
dangerous gift ; and is rarely connected with a sufficiency 
of prudence and discretion to prevent it from injuring 
itself and offending others. She appears to have had 
many suitors ; but they were generally of the airy and 


thoughtless class, and ill-suited to make her either happy 
or useful in a matrimonial life. 

To some of those proposed matches, in very early life, 
I believe the following lines allude, which I find in her 
father's hand-writing, and marked by Mr. J. Wesley — 
" Hetty's letter to her mother." 

" Dear Mother, 

" You were once in the ew'n, 
As by us cakes is plainly shown, 
Who else had ne'er come after. 
Pray speak a word in time of need, 
And with my sour-look' d father plead 
For your distressed daughter !" 

About the year 1724 a gentleman in the profession of 
the law paid his addresses to her: to him she became 
greatly attached ; and a marriage was on the eve of 
taking place, when her father interfered, having heard 
something to the disadvantage of the gentleman, which 
led him to pronounce him "an unprincipled lawyer." 
This interference, however, did not move Hetty. She 
refused to give him up, though not inclined to marry 
without her parents' consent ; and had he been equally 
faithful to her, the connexion would in all probability 
have issued in marriage ; but, whether offended with the 
opposition he met with from the family, or whether 
through fickleness, he in fact remitted his assiduities, and 
at last abandoned a woman who would have been an 
honour to the first man in the land. 

The matter thus terminating, she appears to have 
done what many others in similar circumstances have 
done, made a rash vow, either never to marry another, or 
to take the first man that might offer, whose suit her 
parents might approve. Which of these formed the vow 


I have not been able to determine. Mr. Wright, a 
plumber and glazier, of probably respectable connexions, 
offered, and was recommended by parental authority ; 
and as her parents saw that her mind was strongly at- 
tached to the man who had jilted her, in order to pre- 
vent the possibility of a union in that quarter, her father 
urged her to marry Wright. He was only a journeyman 
when he married her, but set up in business by the money 
which she received as a marriage portion from her uncle 
Matthew. She found him to be a man utterly unsuited 
to her in mind, education, manners, &c. ; and in con- 
sequence, expressed her strong disapprobation, and earn- 
estly begged that parental authority might not be used to 
induce her to adopt a measure that promised no comfort 
to her, and might prove her ruin. Her father appears to 
have been inexorable; she was doubly bound by her 
filial duty, and her vow. 

Mary, of all her sisters, had the courage to counsel 
her rather to break that vow than do what she saw would 
most infallibly produce her misery through life. To this 
she alludes in her fine lines addressed to the memory of 
Mrs. Mary Whitelamb : — 

" When deep immersed in griefs beyond redress, 

And friends and kindred heightened my distress ; 

And by relentless efforts made me prove 

Pain, grief, despair, and wedlock without love ; 

My soft Maria could alone dissent, 

O'erlooked the fatal vow, and mourned the punishment." 

But this ill-fated marriage took place ; and if unkind- 
ness of treatment had not been added to utter unsuit- 
ableness of disposition, her lot would have been less 
grievous. Mr. Wright did not know the value of the 
woman he had espoused ! He associated with low, dis- 


solute company ; spent his evenings from home ; bece 
a drunkard ; and, by a series of ill-management and 
treatment, broke the heart of his wife. 

When this marriage took place I cannot learn. 
Whitehead + hinks it was in the end of the year 1725. 
think it was not so early, as a letter which I shall subj< 
written in 1729, seems to have been sent a little a 
her marriage. That she was almost compelled to mi 
Mr. Wright, this letter, written to her father, I th 
plainly intimates. I cannot suppress it, as it throws 
proper light on this hitherto unexplained unfortui 

" July 3, 172f 
" Honoured Sir, 

" Though I was glad, on any terms, of the favour c 
line from you ; yet I was concerned at your displeas 
on account of the unfortunate paragraph, which you 
pleased to say was meant for the flower of my letter, 
which was in reality the only thing I disliked in it be 
it went. I wish it had not gone, since I perceive it g 
you some uneasiness. 

But since what I said occasioned some queries, wl 
I should be glad to speak freely about, were I sure i 
the least I could say would not grieve or oflFend you 
were I so happy as to think like you in every thing 
earnestly beg that the little I shall say may not be ofl 
sive to you, since I promise to be as little witty as } 
sible, though I can't help saying, you only accuse m< 
being too much so ; especially these late years past I h 
been pretty free from that scandal. 

" You ask me, ' what hurt matrimony has done n 
and ' whether I had always so frightful an idea of i 
I have now T Home questions indeed ! and I. o 


more beg of you not to be offended at the least I can say 
to them, if I say anything. 

" I had not always such notions of wedlock as now ; 
but thought that where there was a mutual affection and 
desire of pleasing, something near an equality of mind 
and person ; either earthly or heavenly wisdom, and any- 
thing to keep love warm between a young couple, there 
was a possibility of happiness in a married state ; but 
where all, or most of these, were wanting, I ever thought 
people could not marry without sinning against God and 

" I could say much more ; but would rather eternally 
stifle my sentiments than have the torment of thinking 
they agree not with yours. 

" You are so good to my spouse and me, as to say, 
' you shall always think yourself obliged to him for his 
civilities to me.' I hope he will always continue to use 
me better than I merit from him in one respect. 

" I think exactly the same of my marriage as I did 
before it happened ; but though I would have given at 
least one of my eyes for the liberty of throwing myself 
at your feet before I was married at all ; yet since it is 
past, and matrimonial grievances are usually irreparable, 
I hope you will condescend to be so far of my opinion, 
as to own, that since upon some accounts I am happier 
than I deserve, it is best to say little of things quite past 
remedy ; and endeavour, as I really do, to make myself 
more and more contented, though things may not be to 
my wish. 

" You say, ' you will answer this if you like it.' Now 
though I am sorry to occasion your writing in the pain I 
am sensible you do ; yet I must desire you to answer it, 
whether you like it or not, since if you are displeased I 

VOL. II. o 


wottld willingly know it ; and the only thing that could 
make me impatient to endure your displeasure is, your 
thinking I deserve it. 

" Though I can't justify my late indiscreet letter 
which made me say so much in this, yet I need not re- 
mind you that I am not more than human ; and if the 
calamities of life (of which perhaps I have my share) 
sometimes wring a complaint from me, I need tell no 
one, that though I bear I must feel them. And if you 
cannot forgive what I have said, I sincerely promise 
never more to offend you by saying too much; which 
(with begging your blessing) is all from 

" Your most obt. daughter, 

"Mehet. Wright." 

Here we see the impelling cause of this ill-fated 
match ; and in the following address to her husband, the 
powerful operating cause of her continual chagrin and 


The ardent lover cannot find 
A coldness in his fair unkind, 
But blaming what he cannot hate, 
He mildly chides the dear ingrate ; 
And though despairing of relief, 
In soft complaining vents his grief. 


Then what should hinder but that I, 
Impatient of my wrongs, may try, 
By saddest softest strains, to move 
My wedded, latest, dearest love, 
To throw his cold neglect aside, 
And cheer once more his injured bride 1 



thou, whom sacred rites designed 
My guide, and husband ever kind, 
My sovereign master, best of friends, 
On whom my earthly bliss depends ; 
If e'er thou didst in Hetty see 
Aught fair, or good, or dear to thee, 
If gentle speech can ever move 
The cold remains of former love, 
Turn thee at last — my bosom ease, 
Or tell me why I cease to please. 

Is it because revolving years, 
Heart-breaking sighs, and fruitless tears, 
Have quite deprived this form of mine 
Of all that once thou fanciedst fine 1 
Ah no ! what once allured thy sight 
Is still in its meridian height. 
These eyes their usual lustre show, 
When uneclipsed by flowing woe. 
Old age and wrinkles in this face 
As yet could never find a place : 
A youthful grace informs these lines, 
Where still the purple current shines ; 
Unless, by thy ungentle art, 
It flies to aid my wretched heart : 
Nor does this slighted bosom show 
The thousand hours it spends in woe. 

Or is it that, oppressed with care, 
I stun with loud complaints thine ear j 
And make thy home, for quiet meant 
The seat of noise and discontent 1 
Ah no ! those ears were ever free 
From matrimonial melody : 
For though thine absence I lament 
When half the lonely night is spent, 

o 2 


Yet when the watch or early morn 
Has brought me hopes of thy return, 
I oft have wiped these watchful eyes, 
Concealed my cares, and curbed my sighs, 
In spite of grief, to let thee see 
I wore an endless smile for thee. 


Had I not practised every art 

T oblige, divert, and cheer thy heart, 

To make me pleasing in thine eyes, 

And turn thy house to paradise ; 

I had not asked, "Why dost thou shun 

These faithful arms, and eager run 

To some obscure, unclean retreat, 

With fiends incarnate glad to meet, 

The vile companions of thy mirth, 

The scum and refuse of the earth ; 

Who, when inspired by beer, can grin 

At witless oaths and jests obscene, 

Till the most learned of the throng 

Begins a tale of ten hours long ; 

While thou, in raptures, with stretched jaws 

Crownest each joke with loud applause 1" 

Deprived of freedom, health, and ease, 

And rivalled by such things as these ; 

This latest effort will I try, 

Or to regain thy heart, or die. 

Soft as I am, I'll make thee see 

I will not brook contempt from thee ! 

Theu quit the shuffling doubtful sense, 
Nor hold me longer in suspense ; 
Unkind, ungrateful, as thou art, 
Say, must I ne'er regain thy heart ? 
Must all attempts to please thee prove 
Unable to regain thy love ? 


If so, by truth itself I swear, 
The sad reverse I cannot bear : 
No rest, no pleasure, will I see : 
My whole of bliss is lost with thee ! 
I'll give all thoughts of patience o'er ; 
(A gift I never lost before) ; 
Indulge at once my rage and grief, 
Mourn obstinate, disdain relief, 
And call that wretch my mortal foe, 
Who tries to mitigate my woe ; 
Till life, on terms severe as these, 
Shall, ebbing, leave my heart at ease ; 
To thee thy liberty restore 
To laugh when Hetty is no more. 

It is not likely that these lines produced any good 
effect on the untutored and sin-hardened heart of Mr. 
Wright : there is no evidence that he amended ; or that 
her lot in life was ameliorated, till in her distress she 
turned her eyes to Him who is a cover from the storm, 
and a refuge to the distressed. 

That she was fully awakened to a sense of her need 
of the Friend of sinners, and sought and found that great 
salvation which her brothers so powerfully and success- 
fully preached, may he seen by the following letters. 

In 1743, she wrote as follows to her brother, Mr. 
John Wesley. 

" Some years ago, I told my brother Charles I could 
not be of his way of thinking then, but that if ever I 
was I would as freely own it. 

" After I was convinced of sin, and of your opinions, 
as far as I had examined your principles, I still forbore 
declaring my sentiments as openly as I had an inclina 
tion to do, fearing I should relapse into my former state. 


Wnen I was delivered from this fear, and had a blessed 
hope that He who had begun would finish his work, I 
never confessed so powerfully as I ought how entirely 
I was of your mind ; because I was taxed with insin- 
cerity and hypocrisy whenever I opened my mouth in 
favour of religion, or owned how great things God had 
done for me. 

" This discouraged me utterly, and prevented me from 
making my change so public, as my folly and vanity had 
formerly been. But now my health is gone, I cannot be 
easy without declaring that I have long desired to know 
one thing, Jesus Christ and him crucified; and this 
desire prevails above all others. 

"And though I am cut off from all human help or 
ministry, I am not without assistance ; though I have no 
spiritual friend, nor ever had one yet, except perhaps 
once in a year or two when I have seen one of my 
brothers, or some other religious person by stealth ; yet 
(no thanks to me) I am enabled to seek him still, and to 
be satisfied with nothing less than God, in whose pre- 
sence I affirm this truth. I dare not desire health ; only 
patience, resignation, and the spirit of an healthful mind. 
I have been so long weak, that I know not how long my 
trial may last ; but I have a firm persuasion and blessed 
hope (though no full assurance) that in the country I am 
going to I shall not sing ' Hallelujah,' and ' Holy, holy, 
holy,' without company, as I have done in this. Dear 
brother, I am unable to speak or write on these things ; 
I only speak my plain thoughts as they occur. Adieu ! 
if you have time from better business to send a line to 
Stanmore, so great a comfort would be as welcome as it 
is wanted." 

The Stanmore here mentioned, was probably that 


near Edgeware, about ten miles from London. It is 
near a hill so very high, that the trees on its top are a 
landmark from the German Ocean. 

What an infinite mercy that such a mind, harassed 
out with distress and anguish, found at last a resting- 
place ! This was the means of preserving for several 
years a life that previously stood on the very verge of 
the grave. In the following year, 1744, she visited 
Bristol, where she had the opportunity of sitting under 
the ministry of her brothers, and of being connected 
with some very holy and sensible members of the Me- 
thodist Society in that place. She profited much by 
their pious conversation and their Christian experience. 
She was led to that light which manifests whatsoever is 
not wrought of God ; she saw the depth of her natural 
corruption, and she mourned as in sackcloth and ashes, 
till she found redemption in the blood of the Lamb. 
She then went on rejoicing in God her salvation, sus- 
tained in all her troubles, strengthened in all her weak- 
ness, growing in grace and in the knowledge of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, till her happy spirit returned to God. 
Her brother Charles visited her in her last illness. In 
the month in which she died he thus mentions her : 
" Prayed by my sister Wright, a gracious, tender, trem- 
bling soul; a bruised reed which the Lord will not 
break." She died March 21st, 1751 ; and Mr. Charles 
Wesley preached her funeral sermon from these words : 
"■ Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy 
moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine ever- 
lasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be 
ended." During this solemn service both he and his 
congregation were deeply affected. 

Mr. Wright had an establishment in Frith-street, 
Soho, London, where he carried on his business of plumb- 


ing and glazing, and had lead works connected with 
the others ; the former of which injured his own health, 
and very materially that of Mrs. Wright. 

They had several children, but all died young ; and it 
was their mother's opinion that the effluvia from the 
lead works were the cause of their death. This she told 
Mr. Duncombe, when he visited her not long before she 
died. This gentlemen wrote a small tract, 4to., price 
one shilling, called the Feminead, containing the charac- 
ters and praises of several eminent ladies, of whom 
Mrs. Wright was one ; and, like many other superficial 
thinkers and reflecters, who publish their own prejudices 
instead of facts, he attributed her woe-worn state to 
false views she had taken of religion, which filled her 
with a gloomy, and to her destructive, superstition ! 
His verses on the subject are not worth repeating ; but 
as they have been produced by others of like opinion, I 
shall subjoin them, and the reader will see at once that 
they are flatly contradicted and nullified by the pre- 
ceding account. 

" But ah ! why heaves my breast this pensive sigh ? 
Why starts this tear unbidden from my eye ? 
What breast from sighs, what eye from tears refrains, 
When, sweetly mournful, hapless Wright complains 1 
And who but grieves to see her generous mind, 
For nobler views and worthier guests designed, 
Amidst the hateful form of black despair, 
Wan with the gloom of superstitious care 1 
In pity-moving lays, with earnest cries, 
She called on Heaven to close her weary eyes j 
And long on earth, by heartfelt woes opprest, 
Was borne by friendly Death to welcome rest." 

Nothing can be more false than this statement ; it was 
her unsuitable, wretched, ill-fated marriage ; the neglect 
and unkindness, the unfeelingness and profligacy, of a 


worthless husband, — these were the causes of all her dis- 
tresses ; and these causes of misery continued to prey on 
her spirits and on her body, till the religion of the God 
of heaven came to her aid ; which it did many years, 
at least eight, before her death. 

Had not the wound she had received in her constitution 
been too deep, the salvation of God which she obtained 
would have healed her body : it was nevertheless the 
means of lengthening out her life, and giving her to taste 
that happiness she had before sought in vain, in what 
Mr. Duncombe calls " nobler views and worthier guests." 
And the angels of heaven, not " friendly Death" or obli- 
vion, bore her soul at last to rest in the bosom of her 
Father and her God. 

Mr. Duncombe parries all this by representing Mr. 
Wright as an honest, laborious man, carrying on business 
in his own neighbourhood. But that he was neither 
decent nor respectable, the preceding address from his 
wife sufficiently proves. He would of course take as 
much care as possible that the world should not know 
that his conduct towards her was the occasion of her 
broken heart ; she was of too noble a spirit publicly to 
complain; and it is very probable that Mr. Wright 
might inform Mr. Duncombe that his wife's shattered 
constitution was owing to the gloomy views she had 
taken of religion. However Mr. D. came by his in- 
formation, the preceding account proves that it was false. 
Dr. Whitehead has observed justly, that " it is grievous 
to see authors, whose works are likely to be read, take 
every opportunity to dress out religion in the most ugly 
forms they can invent to deter young people from em- 
bracing it; and attributing to it the calamities of life, 
which religion alone is able to alleviate and redress." 
Such persons have no just notion of religion themselves, 



and feel nothing of its power and nature ; hence they 
suspect every person who pretends to any to be either 
an enthusiast or a hypocrite. 

In one of this gentleman's letters to Mrs. Elizabeth 
Carter, dated Nov. 20, 1752, he says, " Mr. Highman, 
who knew her when she was young, told me she was 
very handsome. When I saw her she was in a languish- 
ing way, and had no remains of beauty, except a lively 
piercing eye. She was very unfortunate, as you will 
find by her poems ; which are written with great deli- 
cacy, but so tender and affecting, they can scarce be 
read without tears. She had an uncle, a physician and 
man-midwife, with whom she was a favourite. In her 
bloom, he used to take her with him to Bath, and Tun- 
bridge, &c. ; and she has done justice to his memory in 
an excellent poem. Mr. "Wright, her husband, is my 
plumber, and lives in this street ; an honest, laborious 
man, but by no means a fit husband for such a woman. 
He was but a journeyman, when she married him ; but 
set up with the fortune left her by her uncle. 

" I am told she wrote some hymns for the Methodists, 
but I have not seen any of them. It affected me toe 
much to view the ruins of so fine a frame ; so I onty 
made her three or four visits. Mr. Wright told me sh« 
had burned many poems, and given some to a beloved 
sister, which he could never recover." — Censura Literaria 
Vol. III., p. 324; and Peck's History of Axholme 
p. 201. 

Mrs. Wright died long before I was born ; but from 
a gentleman still living, who knew her in the decline oi 
life, I have had this description : " She was an elegam 
woman, with great refinement of manners ; and had the 
traces of beauty in her countenance, with the appear- 
ance of being broken-hearted." 


The account given of her mind and person by a writer 
who calls himself Sylvius, in the sixth volume of the 
Gentleman's Magazine, for 1736, p. 155, is by no means 

TO MRS. w T, 


Fain would my grateful muse a trophy raise 
Devoted to Granvilla's lasting- praise. 
But from what topic shall her task begin 1 
From outward charms 1 or richer stores within 1 
'Twere difficult with portrait j ust to trace 
The blooming beauties of her lovely face ; 
The roseate bloom that blushes on her cheek ; 
Her eyes whence rays of pointed lightning break ; 
Each brow the bow of Cupid, whence her darts 
With certain archery strike unguarded hearts ; 
Her lips, that with a rubied tincture glow, 
Soft as the soothing sounds which from them flow. 
But oh ! what words, what numbers, shall I find 
T' express the boundless treasures of her mind, 
Where wit and judgment spread their copious mines, 
And every grace and every virtue shines 1 

Oh Nymph ! when you assume the muse's lyre, 
What thoughts you quicken, and what joys inspire ! 
Pale melancholy wears a cheerful mien ; 
Grief smiles, and raging passions grow serene. 
If themes sublime, of import grand, you try, 
You lift the attentive spirit to the sky ; 
Or change the strain, and sportive subjects choose, 
Our softening souls obey the powerful muse. 
Yet 'tis, Granvilla, not thy smallest praise, 
That no indecent thought profanes thy lays. 
Like thy own breast, thy style from taint is free ; 
Censure may pry, but can no blemish see. 
No longer let thy muse the press decline ; 
Publish her lays, and prove her race divine. 


Long has thy tuneful sire been known to fame ; 

"On him Maria smiled, a royal name. 

Thy brother's works, received with rapture, tell 

That on the son the father's spirit fell : 

To these the daughter's equal flame subjoin, 

Then boast, O muses, the unrivalled line ! 


On these lines to Mrs. Wright, who is here called 
Granvilla, being sent to the Gentleman's Magazine, the 
same author composed the following prize epigram : — 

Allowed by bright Granvilla to peruse 
The sprightly labours of her charming muse ; 
Enraptured by her wit's inspiring rays, 
I chanted ready numbers to her praise. 
She, pleased, my unpremeditated lines 
To the recording magazine consigns : 
But would you be to best advantage known, 
Print not my verses, fairest, but your own. 

This epigram has very fine point in it: but Mrs. 
Wright could never be prevailed on to collect and give 
her poems to the public. It is said that she gave several 
to a beloved sister, probably Mary (Mrs. Whitelamb). 
Many have been published in different collections. Her 
niece, the late Miss Wesley, has kindly furnished me 
with several ; and from the MSS. I have been enabled 
to correct the printed copies. Some may be found in 
the Poetical Register, the Christian Magazine, the Ar- 
minian Magazine, and in different Lives of her brothers, 
John and Charles Wesley. 

Most of the following were written under strong 
mental depression, and before she found the consolations 
of religion. They are excellent of their kind, and can- 
not be deemed out of their place at the end of these 

Mrs. Wright's Address to her Dying Infant, composed 


during her confinement, written down from her mouth 
by her husband, and sent by him to Mr. John Wesley, 
is a piece inimitable for its tenderness and highly- 
polished numbers ; but tinged with that gloom which 
was her constant attendant throughout her unfortunate 

The original letter sent with these lines lies before 
me. It is a curiosity of its kind ; and one proof among 
many of the total unfitness of such a slender and uncul- 
tivated mind to match with one of the highest orna- 
ments of her sex. I shall give it entire, in its oou 
orthography, in order to vindicate the complaints of this 
forlorn woman, who was forced to accept in marriage 
the rude hand which wrote it. 

" To the Revd. Mr. John Wesley Fellow in Christ 
Church College Oxon. 
" Dear Bro : 
" This comes to Let you know that my wife is brought 
to bed and is in a hopefull way of Doing well but the 
Dear child Died — the Third day after it was born — 
which has been of great concerne to me and my wife 
She Joyns With me In Love to your Selfe and Bro : 

From Your Loveing Bro : 

to Comnd — Wm. Wright." 

" PS. Ive sen you Sum Verses that my wife maid of 
Dear Lamb Let me hear from one or both of you as 
Soon as you think Conveniant." 

The verses follow : but I have taken the liberty to 
correct Mr. Wright's barbarous orthography. 

The original letter and poem are, like the ancient 
Hebrew, all without points. 




Tender s6ftness ! infant mild ! 
Perfect, purest, brightest child ! 
Transient lustre ! beauteous clay ! 
Smiling wonder of a day ! 
Ere the last convulsive start 
Rends thy unresisting heart ; 
"Ere the long enduring swoon 
Weigh thy precious eyelids down ; 
Ah, regard a mother's moan, 
Anguish deeper than thy own. 

Fairest eyes, whose dawning light 
Late with rapture blest my sight, 
Ere your orbs extinguished be, 
Bend their trembling beams on me ! 

Drooping sweetness ! verdant flower ! 
Blooming, withering in an hour ! 
Ere thy gentle breast sustains 
Latest, fiercest, mortal pains, 
Hear a suppliant ! let me be 
Partner in thy destiny ! 
That whene'er the fatal cloud 
Must thy radiant temples shroud ; 
When deadly damps, impending now, 
Shall hover round thy destined brow, 
Diffusive may their influence be, 
And with the blossom blast the tree ! 



Oppressed with utmost weight of woe, 
Debarred of freedom, health, and rest ; 

What human eloquence can show 
The inward anguish of my breast ! 



The finest periods of discourse, 

(Rhetoric in all her pompous dress 
Unmoving) lose their pointed force, 

When griefs are swell'd beyond redress. 

Attempt not then with speeches smooth 

My raging conflicts to control ; 
Nor softest sounds again can soothe 

The wild disorder of my soul ! 


Such efforts vain to end my fears, 

And long-lost happiness restore, 
May make me melt in fruitless tears, 

But charm my tortured soul no more. 

Enable me to bear my lot, 

O Thou who only canst redress ! 
Eternal God ! forsake me not 

In this extreme of my distress. 


Regard thy humble suppliant's suit ; 

Nor let me long in anguish pine. 
Dismayed, abandoned, destitute 

Of all support, but only thine ! 


Nor health, nor life, I ask of thee ; 

Nor languid nature to restore : 
Say but, " A speedy period be 

To these thy griefs," — I ask no more ! 

These lines seem to have been written about the time 
of her address to her husband. Despair of all remedy 
had nearly drunk up her spirit : but she began to seek 
help where it could be found. The three last verses are 
very fine. 




Wear pleasure, Stella ! on thy face, 

Nor check the rising joy : 
Nor canst thou, since the heart displays 

Its transport through the eye. 

Those dearly welcome hours of rest, 

This pleasing truce from care, 
Removes the mountain from thy brea&t, 

Thou hast not learnt to bear. 


Though, distant far from what I love, 
My blooming hopes are crost, 

Yet free as air my thoughts can rove, 
In silent rapture lost ! 

Then, Stella, prize thy present ease, 

This interval of woe : 
Since other moments blest as these 

Thy life may never know. 


Snatch the fleet pleasures ere they part : 
To-morrow (should'st thou say) 

Though pain may rend this tortured heart, 
I'll smile and live to-dav. 



Destined while living to sustain 
An equal share of grief and pain : 
All various ills of human race 
Within this breast had once a place. 
Without complaint she learned to bear 
A living death, a long despair ; 


Till hard oppressed by adverse fate, 

O'er charged, she sunk beneath its weight ; 

And to this peaceful tomb retired, 

So much esteemed, so long desired. 

The painful mortal conflict's o'er : 

A broken heart can bleed no more ! 



Great Power ! at whose almighty hand 
Vengeance and comfort ever wait ; 

Starting to earth, at thy command, 
To execute thy love or hate : 


Thy indignation knits thy brow 

On those who dare to sin give way ; 

But who so perfect, Lord, below 
As never from thy word to stray ] 


But when thy mighty laws we break, 
And after do our guilt deplore • 

Thou dost the word of comfort speak, 
And treasure up our crimes no more. 


O thou, thy mighty grace display, 
And thy offending servant spare ; 

With pain my body wastes away, 

My weakened limbs with constant care. 


Grief has my blood and spirits drunk, 
My tears do like the night-dew fall ; 

My cheeks are faded, eyes are sunk, 

And all my draughts are dashed witli gall. 



Thou canst the heavy hand withdraw 
That bends me downward to the grave ; 

One healing touch my pain can awe, 
And thy declining servant save. 


But if thy justice has decreed, 
I still must languish out my days ; 

Support me in the time of need, 
Patient to bear these slow decays. 


Lo ! to thy dreadful will I bow, 

Thy visitations still to prove ; 
Thy judgments do thy mercy show, 

Since, Lord, thou chastenest in thy love. 

The following address contains some fine sentiments 
and consolatory thoughts : — 



Though sorer sorrows than their birth 

Your children's death has given ; 
Mourn not that others bear for earth, 

While you have peopled heaven ! 


If now so painful 'tis to part, 

O think, that when you meet, 
Well bought with shortly-fleeting smart 

Is never-ending sweet ! 


What if those little angels, nigh 

T' assist your latest pain, 
Should hcver round you when you die, 

And leave you not ae:ain ? 



Say, shall you then regret your woes, 
Or mourn your teeming years 1 

One moment will reward your throes, 
And overpay your tears* 

Redoubled thanks will fill your song ; 

Transported while you view 
Th' inclining, happy, infant throng, 

That owe their bliss to you ! 


So moves the common star, though bright 
With simple lustre crowned ; 

The planet shines, with guards of light 
Attending it around. 



While sickness rends this tenement of clay, 
Th' approaching change with pleasure I survey ; 
O'erjoyed to reach the goal, with eager pace, 
'Ere my slow life has measured half its race. 
No longer shall I bear, my friends to please, 
The hard constraint of seeming much at ease ; 
Wearing an outward smile, a look serene, 
While piercing racks and tortures work within. 
Yet let me not, ungrateful to my God, 
Record the evil, and forget the good : 
For both I humble adoration pay, 
And bless the Power who gives and takes away. 
Long shall my faithful memory retain 
And oft recal each interval of pain. 
Nay, to high heaven for greater gifts I bend : 
Health I've enjoyed, and I had once a friend ! 
Our labour sweet, if labour it might seem, 
Allowed the sportive and instructive scene. 


Yet here no lewd or useless wit was found ; 

We poised the wavering sail with ballast sound. 

Learning here placed her richer stores in view, 

Or, winged with love, the minutes gaily flew ! 

Nay, yet sublimer joy our bosoms proved, 

Divine benevolence, by heaven beloved. 

Wan meagre forms, torn from impending death, 

Exulting, blest us with reviving breath. 

The shivering wretch we clothed, the mourner cheered, 

And sickness ceased to groan when we appeared. 

Unasked, our care assists with tender art 

Their bodies, nor neglects the immortal part. 

Sometimes in shades unpierced by Cynthia's beam, 

Whose lustre glimmered on the dimpled stream 

We wandered innocent through sylvan scenes, 

Or tripped like fairies o'er the level greens. 

From fragrant herbage decked with pearly dews, 

And flowerets of a thousand different hues 

By wafting gales the mingling odours fly, 

And round our heads in whispering breezes sigh. 

Whole nature seems to heighten and improve 

The holier hours of innocence and love. 

Youth, wit, good nature, candour, sense, combined 

To serve, delight, and civilize mankind ; 

In wisdom's love we every heart engage, 

And triumph to restore the Golden Age ! 

Nor close the blissful scene, exhausted muse, 
The latest blissful scene that thou shalt choose ; 
Satiate with life, what joys for me remain, 
Save one dear wish, to balance every pain, — 
To bow my head, with grief and toil opprest, 
Till borne by angel-bands to everlasting rest? 

" It is but justice to her memory," says Mr. Wesley, 
"to observe, that she was at 'rest' before she went 
hence ; being for some years a witness of that rest which 
remains, even here, for the people of God." In the 
above verses she refers with exquisite feeling to her 
beloved sister Mary. 


I knoAv not whether, after her conversion to God, she 
wrote any verses ; it is most likely that she did not, as 
for several years before her death she was in a very 
infirm state of health, and could not use her pen with 
ease. Of gay, sportive, innocent pieces she no doubt 
wrote many ; but I have not met with any that bear her 
name, though among many now lying before me in the 
hand- wri ting of herself, Emily, and Kezziah, there may 
be some of her composing. 

I have already hazarded a thought that the Hymn of 
Eupolis to the Creator might probably have been written 
by her, or at least a part of it. I have given some 
reasons to support this opinion ; but as the piece has 
passed invariably in the family for old Mr. Samuel 
Wesley's production, I will not undertake to defend it. 
Both the father and daughter had great poetical powers ; 
his, often rugged, but still strong ; hers, highly-polished 
and harmonious, yet full of fire ; and I would conclude 
on the subject, as the Shepherd in Virgil : — 

Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites, 

Eclog. III., v. 108 

Et vitulii tu dignus et hie. 

" So nice a difference in your singing lies, 
That both have won, or both deserved the prize : 
Rest equal happy both." 


From mature reflection, I believe either of them was 
capable of the poem : but perhaps it required both to 
make it that finished, may I not say inimitable, piece 
which it now appears. 

The following verses I found partly in Mrs. Wright's 
and partly in her father's hand writing. They seem to 
have been occasioned by some person, called here Sukys 


Idol, ludicrously asserting the doctrine of the metemp- 
#ychosis, or transmigration from body to body : — 


The period fast comes on when 1 

Must to an oyster turn ; 
(Unless my Suky's Idol lie) 

Nor will I grieve or mourn. 
Welcome my transmigrated state ! 

I'll for the worst prepare : 
Think while 'tis given to think by fate ; 

Then like a log must bear. 


These eyes I feel will soon depart 

(Else Hetty should not write) ; 
Their balls will to such pearls convert, 

As ladies wont delight. 
The pineal gland, from whence some say 

Man thinks, reflects, and knows 
Whate'er is best, — perhaps it may 

The oyster's head compose. 
Or coarse or curious be the mould 

Whate'er its form contains, 
That small Peninsula may hold 

My few but working brains. 
My fingers may the strice make, 

The shell my parched skin ; 
My nerves and bones with palsies shake 

The white reverse within. 
Perhaps at tide-time I may wake, 

And sip a little moisture ; 
Then to my pillow me betake, 

And sleep like brother -oyster. 



What shall I dream ? or what compose ? 

Some harmless rhymes like these ; 
Below the wits, ahove the beaiis, 

Which Poll and Kez may please. 

A dubious being, hardly life ; 

Yet sensible of woe ; 
For when Death comes with rusty knife, 

But few will meet the blow. 


Which sure my heart, though once 'twas strong, 

Will then nor fly nor choose ; 
The pulpy substance will not long 

The coup de grace refuse. 


My loving oyster-kins, which sit 

So fast to native shell, 
Must then some other harbour get, 

Or in wide ocean dwell. 


And since this sensible must fail, 

I feel it bend and sink, 
Come age, come death, you'll soon prevail, 

I'll wait you on the brink. 


But is there not a something still 

Sprung from a nobler race, 
Above the passions and the will, 

Which lifts to heaven its face ? 


There is — I feel it upward tend, 

While these weak spirits decay, 
Which sighs to meet its Saviour — Friend, 

And springs for native day. 



When all its organs marred and worn, 
Let Locke say what he can, 

'Twill act still round itself turn, — 

The mind is still the man : 


Which, if fair virtue be my choice, 
Above the stars shall shine ; 

Above want, pain, and death rejoice, 
Immortal and divine. 


Of this lady I find scarcely any mention in the family 
papers, and little can be gathered from any of the sur- 
vivors in any of its branches ; but that she was married 
to a gentleman of the name of John Lambert, who was 
a land-surveyor in Epworth. Mr. and Mrs. Lambert are 
the persons probably meant by Mr. Wesley in his journal, 
under the date of Tuesday, June 8th, 1742, where he 
says, " I walked to Hibaldstone, about ten miles from 
Epworth, to see my brother and sister :" but he mentions 
no name. 

I think it likely that this marriage took place in 
1724 or 1725, and I found this conjecture on a letter of 
Miss Martha Wesley to her brother John, dated Sept. 

10, 1724. 

" Sister Hetty is at Kelstein, and sends us word that 
she liyes very well; and sister Nancy, I belie-ve, will 
marry John Lambert : perhaps you may not have forgot 
him since you saw him at Wroot. 

" I should be very glad if you would give yourself the 
trouble of writing a long letter to me, which will ex- 
ceedingly oblige your sincere friend, and affectionate 
sister, "Martha Wesley." 


Mr. Lambert seems to have been well educated. He 
was particularly careful to collect the early pamphlet- 
publications of his father-in-law, Mr. S. Wesley. From 
a collection of these, which had formerly been his pro- 
perty, in each of which he had written his name, and 
illustrated them with notes, I hare derived some useful 
information. These notes prove him to have been a 
man of considerable reading ; and his handwriting does 
him great credit. 

There are some of Mr. S. Wesley's minor publications 
which I had probably never seen, had it not been for 
the above-mentioned collection, which was kindly lent 
to me by my friend the Rev. James Everett. 

On her marriage, her brother Samuel presented to 
Mr. Lambert and her the following verses : — 


No fiction fine shall guide my hand, 
But artless truth the verse supply ; 

Which all with ease may understand, 
But none he able to deny. 

Nor, sister, take the care amiss 
Which I, in giving rules, employ 

To point the likeliest way to bliss, 
To cause, as well as wish, you joy. 

Let love your reason never blind, 
To dream of paradise below ; 

For sorrows must attend mankind, 
And pain, and weariness, and woe ! 

Though still, from mutual love, relief 

In all conditions may be found : 
It cures at once the common grief, 
And softens the severest wound. 


Through diligence, and well-earned gain, 

In growing plenty may you live ! 
And each in piety obtain 

Repose that riches cannot give ! 

If children e'er should bless the bed, 

Oh, rather let them infants die, 
Than live to grieve the hoary head, 

And make the aged father sigh ! 

Still duteous, let them ne'er conspire 

To make their parents disagree ; 
No son be rival to his sire, 

No daughter, more beloved than thee ! 

Let them be humble, pious, wise, 

Nor higher station wish to know ; 
Since only those deserve to rise, 

Who live contented to be low. 

Firm let the husband's empire stand, 
With easy but unquestioned sway ;r 

May he have kindness to command, 
And thou the bravery to obey \ 

Long may he give thee comfort, long 

As the frail knot of life shall hold ! 
More than a father when thou'rt young, 

More than a son when waxing old. 

The greatest earthly pleasure try, 

Allowed by Providence Divine 5 
Be still a husband, blest as I, 

And thou a wife as good as mine ! 

There is much good sense, piety, and suitable advice 
in these verses ; and they give an additional testimony 
to the domestic happiness of Mr. Samuel Wesley, their 

We have to regret that of Mrs. Lambert, her husband, 
and their children, if they had any, we know nothing 


farther,; especially as every member of this family, of 
whom we have any memoirs, has afforded us lessons, of 
instruction in some of the weightiest concerns of life. 
I wish the above verses in the hands of every new- 
married couple in the kingdom. 



John Wesley, the ever-memorable founder of the 
people called Methodists, whose name only is introduced 
here in the connected order of the family, was born at 
Ep worth, in Lincolnshire, on the 17th June, 1703 ; en- 
tered Christ's Church, Oxford, in 1720 ; was ordained 
Deacon, by Bishop Potter, Sept. 19, 1725 ; and Priest, 
by the same, Sept. 22, 1728 ; — wrote his first sermon, in 
1725 ; went on his mission to Georgia, 1735 ; returned 
to England in 1738; and formed the first Methodist 
Society at Fetter Lane, London, May 1st, 1738. 

His life has been written by the Rev John Hampson, 
3 vols., 12mo. 

By the Rev. Dr. Coke, and the Rev. Henry Moore, 

By John Whitehead, M. D., 2 vols., 8vo. 

By Robert Southey, LL.D., Poet Laureate, 2 vols., 

Whatever excellencies the above accounts may pos- 
sess, a proper life of Mr. John Wesley is still a deside- 
ratum in the religious world; and I question much 
whether there can be found any man in the nation 
capable of doing it justice. As a scholar, poet, logician, 
critic, philosopher, politician, legislator, divine, public 



teacher, and a deeply pious and extensively useful 
man, lie had no superior; few, if any, equals; and can 
never have justice done him, unless accurately viewed 
in all these lights, for he sustained all these characters : 
jo that the use he made of those his various talents may 
appear as it brought glory to God, and good to man- 

After undergoing innumerable hardships — sustaining 
labours beyond all precedent — having been the instru- 
ment of turning many thousands from the power of 
Satan unto God — giving the most unequivocal example 
of the most perfect self-denial and disinterestedness, full 
of the life and hope of the gospel, he died in London, 
at his own house in the City Road, March 2, 1791, in 
the eighty-eighth year of his age, and the sixty-sixth of 
his ministry.* 

* Though Dr. Clarke was prevented from accomplishing the 
wish of the Wesleyan Conference, to write a full life of Mr. 
Wesley, and though deeply impressed with the magnitude of the 
work, he still contemplated a character of him, and of publishing 
that character, if not separately, at least in the pages of the 
" Wesley Family." To a friend he observes, in his private cor- 
respondence, so late as 1829, " I think I will endeavour to give a 
Sketch of Mr. J. Wesley's Life, with some anecdotes, and a proper 
character, so that he shall have some justice done to him, and not 
abandon him to the scurrility of such persons as Lord John Russell, 
who glean their henbane from such lives as the apostate Night- 
ingale. By this, the new edition of the ' Wesley Family' will make 
two good 8vo. vols." In another letter, he remarks, Dec. 7, 1831, 
only about nine months before his death : — " No man out of 
heaven is capable of writing Mr. Wesley's life, who had not an 
intimate acquaintance with him. I lay in his bosom ; and perhaps 
the world, or rather the church, may find, when Adam Clarke is no 


In the same year in which he died, standing at my 
study window in Manchester, without any previous 
thinking on the subject, or intending any such matter, I 
wrote the following epitaph on the glass, which, I be- 
lieve, remains undisturbed and unbroken to the present 

more among men, that John Wesley is not left without a proper 
notice of the rare excellencies in his life, by one whom he affec- 
tionately loved ; and who valued him more than he does any arch- 
angel of God." On another occasion, he observes, "The name 
Wesley to me is sacred. I rejoice in it more than in my own." 
Fortunately for the church at large, and the W< sleya-i body in 
particular, many of the doctor's remarks on Mr. J * Vs cha- 
racter, his interviews with him and anecdotes of f • ■■>- . e been 
preserved, and will be embodied in a forthcoming memoir of him- 
self, as they dropped from the lips — vivid and bright, when in the 
midst of animated discourse, and under the influence of cheerful, 
hallowed feeling. 

If an opinion may be hazarded, perhaps the best Life that can 
now be presented to the public, of the celebrated founder of 
Methodism, is, To take his Journals, to incorporate into these all his 
MS. and published letters, agreeably to their respective and corre- 
sponding dates ; thus showing his epistolary employment at each 
place — to interweave with both, all the facts, anecdotes, and con- 
versations, illustrative of his personal history, to be found in the 
separate or combined memoirs of Hampson, Whitehead, Coke, 
Moore, and Southey, apart from the observations of the different 
biographers — and to accompany the whole with notes, from his 
works, and from the works and memoirs of his cotemporaries. 
The text would be purely Wesleyan, and would not only furnish 
a fine full-length portrait of the man, but an excellent ecclesiastical 
history of the body, from its rise to nearly the close of the 
eighteenth century. — Editor. 


Good Men need not Marble : 

I dare trust Glass* 

With the Memory 



Late Fellow of Lincoln College, 


Who, with indefatigable Zeal and Perseverance, 

Travelled through these kingdoms, 

Preaching JESUS, 

For more than half a century. 

By his unparalleled Labours and Writings 

He revived and spread 


Wherever he went, 

For God was with him. 

But having finished his work, 

By keeping, preaching, and defending the FAITH, 

He ceased to live among mortals, 

March 2nd., M.DCC.XCI. 

In the eighty-eighth year of his age. 

As a small token of continued filial respect, 

This Inscription 

Is humbly dedicated to the memory of the above, 

By his affectionate son in the gospel, 

Adam Clarke. 

* The house in which Dr. (then Mr.) Clarke resided, stands in 
Dale Street, and adjoins Oldham Street chapel; and the "win- 
dow" belongs to one of the upper rooms, still used as a study, 
Persons of minute observation will find a small crack in one of 
the corners of the pane ; and as though the writer had anticipated 
an objection against the durability of his " glass" monument, he 
intimates within the crack, by the point of the diamond, that the 
flaw was there before the epitaph was cut. — Editor. 



Martha, or, as she is usually termed, Patty or Pat, 
was born in the year 1707- She was younger than her 
brother John, and older than her brother Charles. She 
was reputed by her sisters to be the mother s favourite. 
Mr. Charles thought the same ; and expressed his "won- 
der that so wise a woman as his mother could give way 
to such a partiality, or did not better conceal it." Many 
years after, when this saying of her brother was men- 
tioned to Mrs. Hall, she replied, " What my sisters call 
partiality, was what they might all have enjoyed if they 
had wished it; which was permission to sit in my 
mother's chamber when disengaged, to listen to her con- 
versation with others, and to hear her remarks on things 
and books out of school-hours." It appears from hence 
that partiality to Patty was the indulgence of this pro- 
pensity to store her mind, and enlarge her intellect, with 
the observations of a parent whose mode of thinking 
was not common, and whose conversation was both pe- 
culiarly impressive and instructing : and surely it would 
have been cruelty to have chased away a little one, who 
preferred her mother's society to recreation, and de- 
lighted to hang upon her words, when the others were 
intensely engaged in play. Thus, the partiality was on 
the part of the child. Patty loved her mother more than 
any of the rest ; and this for the double reason, because 
she was her mother, which was common to all, and be- 
cause in listening to her discourses she increased her 
little fund of knowledge, which was what her soul 
thirsted after, a propensity which her mother very pro- 
perly permitted her to indulge. Her mother was her 
oracle; she almost idolized her, and would never wil- 
lingly be from her side : and it is not to be wondered 


at, if Mrs. Wesley did feel a partiality for such a child. 
It is natural for love to beget love ; and where this law 
of nature seems to be inefficient, enmity will take the 
place of love, or love will soon become extinct. 

From her infancy, Patty was distinguished for deep 
thoughtfulness, for grave and serious deportment, and 
for an equanimity or evenness of temper which nothing 
could discompose. 

Her brothers Samuel and Charles, with all her sisters, 
strove by all kinds of witty mischief to throw her off her 
guard, and ruffle her temper; but in vain. To their 
jests and playful tricks she opposed solid arguments, and 
this acquired her the name of Patient Grizzle among 
them. Her abhorrence of satire (in which it appears 
most of the rest abounded) provoked its attacks in many 
an epigram, while she calmly expostulated on the moral 
evil of satire, and, unprovoked, contended even with her 
brother Samuel that ridicule never cured any vice. She 
was so affectionate in her disposition that they could 
not quarrel with her, and so completely unassailable 
that she foiled her antagonists, by permitting them to 
spend their strength for nought. 

By the misery of others she was vulnerable in the 
very tenderest degree. Though slow and deliberate in 
all her general movements, she would fly, at the call of 
want or pain, to succour the distressed. No occupation, 
no indisposition of body, except it confined her to her 
bed, could prevent her from affording her assistance. In 
this alone she was enthusiastic, and the readiness with 
which she obeyed such calls attended her to old age. 

To her brother John she was uncommonly attached. 
They had the same features so exactly, as if cast in the 
same mould, added to an exact similarity of disposition. 
Had I seen them dressed in the clothing of males, I could 


not have told which was Mr. Wesley ; and had I seen 
them in female attire, I could not have distinguished 
which was Mrs. Hall. Such a similarity of countenance, 
expression, and manner, I think I never perceived, as 
between these two. Even their handwriting was so 
much alike that the one might be easily mistaken for 
the other. And the internal disposition was the same. 
Like her, John thought deeply on every subject, and 
felt himself answerable to his reason and conscience for 
everything he did : in neither of them did passion, or 
natural appetite, seem to have any peculiar sway. Mr. 
Wesley has told me, that when he was a child, and was 
asked at any time, out of the common way of meals, to 
have, for instance, a piece of bread and butter, fruit, &c, 
he has replied with cool unconcern, " I thank you, I 
will think of it." He would neither touch nor do anv- 
thing till he had reflected on its fitness and propriety.* 
This subjection of his mind to deep reflection, which 
might have appeared, to those who were not acquainted 
with him, like hesitation, sometimes puzzled the family. 
In one instance his father said in a pet to Mrs. Wesley, 
" I profess, sweetheart, I think our Jack would not at- 
tend to the most pressing necessities of nature, unless he 
could give a reason for it."t 

* If the reader will take the trouble to advert to a letter, dated 
" Epworth, July 24th, 1732," on the education of her children, he 
will find that there is, perhaps, as much credit due to the manner 
of training as to reason, on this subject. — Editor. 

t Mr. Wesley gives the following remark of his father to him- 
self: "'Child,' said my father tome, when I was young, 'you 
think to carry everything by dint of argument ; but you will find 
how very little is ever done in the world by close reason.' Verv 
little indeed !" See Works, Vol. XII., p. 396. The last edition. 



His love to Patty was like hers to him ; and he alone 
never joined in the provoking tricks of the others, when 
they leagued together to overturn Pattys philosophic 

Her attachment to this brother, to whom she bore so 
strong an affinity both in mind and person, seemed to be 
innate, not acquired. From her earliest infancy, when 
a helpless child in the arms, afflicted and moaning with 
pain, the sight of this beloved brother immediately 
calmed and cheered her, causing her to forget her suf- 

The astonishing similarity in person and feeling be- 
tween this brother and sister, accompanied by such a 
singular mutual attachment, which lasted through life, 
has induced me to anticipate a part of the early history 
of Mr. Wesley, of which his future biographers may 
make a profitable use. 

Mrs. Wesley's opinion of the strong characteristic stea- 
diness of Patty may appear from the following incident. 
One day, entering the nursery when all the children, 
Patty excepted (who was ever sedate and reflecting), 
were in high glee and frolic, the mother said, but not 
rebukingly, "You will all be more serious one day." 
Martha, lifting up her head, immediately said, " Shall I 
be more serious, Mam?" NO, replied the mother. 

But there is a part of Martha's character which has 
been so solemnly impeached, and the prejudice against 
her has become in consequence so inveterate, that unless 
I can clear up this point, I can scarcely expect credit 
from those of my readers who know no more than what 
is contained in the public outcry : I allude to her con- 
duct in reference to her marriage. 

It has been already remarked, that on the disastrous 
fire which took place in 1709, in the parsonage-house 


at Epworth, by which it and all Mr. Wesley's property 
were destroyed, the children were scattered among rela- 
tives and friends, till the house could be rebuilt, and 
till the desolation in the family circumstances might be 
in some measure repaired. 

Some time after this, Mr. Matthew Wesley, the sur- 
geon, took to his house Hetty and Susan, and afterwards 
in 1720, Patty, who was then about thirteen years of 
age. It proves no mean subjection of her will to the 
obedience due to parental authority, that, notwithstand- 
ing her strong attachment to her mother, she consented 
without murmuring to go with this uncle, who was till 
then nearly a stranger to her ; and to sojourn at a great 
distance from parents whom she dearly loved, and the 
benefit of whose conversation she could not hope to re- 

While she staid with her uncle, she was treated by 
him with the greatest tenderness ; but as he was very 
unlike all other persons of the family, not having a de- 
cisively religious turn, she often found herself in great 
bondage. Though he did not oppose any obstacles to 
the gratification of her religious feelings, yet she was 
there without help in sacred things. She had none to 
encourage her to press forward in the good way, which, 
in a letter to her brother John, she greatly deplores. 
While in London with her uncle, she sometimes paid a 
visit to her brother Samuel at Westminster; but her 
plain manner did not suit the views of his " lordly 
dame," and therefore her visits were not very frequent. 

I shall give an extract of the letter to which I have 
referred in this place, as it may be considered as a pre- 
lude to her marriage ; at least, it will show that she was 
not quite satisfied with her situation, and might be the 


more easily persuaded to change it, when a proper 
opportunity should present itself. 

" I intended to have wrote sooner to my dear brother, 
but I have had such an indisposition as, though it has 
not made me what one may call sick, it has made me 
almost incapable of anything. 

"My uncle is pretty well recovered. I heartily join 
with you in wishing you may have a conference with 
him. Who knows but he might be better for it? at 
least, it is not impossible. He had several years ago a 
violent fit of illness; seemed wondrous serious; and 
sent for a clergyman, who staid with him some hours, 
and when he came from him, told my grandmother, if 
it pleased God to spare his life, he believed he would be 
a good man. But when he • did recover again, and got 
among his companions, all his good resolutions vanished 

" Was almost any body else in my place, they would 
think themselves very happy. I want neither money, 
nor clothes ; nay, I have both given me in the most 
obliging manner ; and yet I am not so. I not only want 
the most rational part of friendship, but I see a person 
whom I can't help loving very well (to say nothing of 
my sister) going on in a way which I think the wrong 
way, without being able to persuade him to turn into 
the right. I cannot do the good I fain would, and 
I am continually in danger of doing the evil I would 

" O might I, like the seraph Abdiel, faithful stand 
amongst the faithless ! I am persuaded I shall not want 
my dear brother s prayers to enable me to do it. 

" I go sometimes to Westminster : but I am afraid it 


will be impossible for me ever to make a friend of my 
sister. She fell upon me the last time I was there, for 
'giving myself such an air as to drink water,' though 
she told me ' she did not expect that I should leave it.' 
I told her, if she could convince me that there was any 
ill in it, I would, and thank her for telling me of it ; 
but I desired her, in the first place, to tell me what she 
meant by the word 'air,' which she did not choose to do, 
I believe for a very good reason ; so our dispute ended. 
My brother said he would go to Oxford this Easter. I 
asked him if he would take me with him ? He seemed 
pretty willing to do it ; but I fancy his wife will hardly 
let him. Indeed, if he should give me twenty shillings, 
it would be such a thing as he never did yet ; nor 
indeed did I ever desire it before. I should be pleased 
if he would, because it would give me the pleasure of 
seeing my dear brother at his own habitation, and of 
telling him, by word of mouth, how much I am 

" His faithful friend, 

" and affectionate sister, 

"Martha Wesley." 
March 10, 1730. 

The poor surgeon, her uncle, was supposed to be care- 
less about religion, because he did not take a heated part 
in the pro and con polemic divinity of the day. 

While Martha was at her uncle's house, she received 
the addresses of a gentleman of the name of Hall, who 
was one of Mr. Wesley's pupils at Lincoln College. He 
was then, according to every evidence, not hypocritically, 
but deeply pious ; though not of a strong judgment, 
and, consequently, of a fickle mind. His pretensions 
were all fair, his deportment correct, his education truly 


pious, his person agreeable, his manners pleasing, and 
his property good. 

In his addresses to Martha, there is no doubt he was 
sincere ; and in order to secure her, he took the expe- 
dient, common enough in those days, to betroth her to 
himself. All this was without the knowledge of her 
parents, or her brothers, and was done at her uncle's 
house in London. He then accompanied her brothers 
John and Charles to Epworth, and there he saw her 
sister Kezziah, grew enamoured of her, courted, obtained 
her consent, and that of the family in general, who knew 
nothing of his pre-engagement with Martha ; and he 
was on the point of leading poor unconscious Kezziah to 
the altar, when a sudden qualm of conscience reproached 
and reminded him of his prior engagement, and he came 
back to Martha. The family were justly alarmed at his 
conduct ; in vain they questioned him on the reason of 
this change. He had not honour enough, however sore 
his conscience was, candidly to confess his prior engage- 
ments with Patty ; but talked of a " revelation he had 
from heaven" that he should not marry Kezziah, but 
Martha. As Martha had made the contract with him 
without consulting her parents, she was afraid to allege 
it in her own vindication ; and most probably Mr. Hall 
had bound her not to discover the previous engagement. 
And she was obliged in consequence to suffer the hea- 
viest censures of her brothers, who regarded her as the 
usurper of her sister s rights ; whereas, had she frankly 
declared that she had been affianced to the man before 
he had even seen her sister Kezziah, they could not 
have blamed her for redeeming her solemn pledge; 
though they might have judged her imprudent in put- 
ting herself in the hands of a man who had shown such 


a flexibility of affection, and such a versatility of cha- 
racter. But there is no doubt that he used all his 
artifice to persuade Patty that his heart stood right, 
though for a time he had yielded to violent temptation. 
As the family knew nothing of Patty's prior engage- 
ments, it is no wonder that in their strong method of 
expressing themselves, especially in poetry, they should 
consider Patty's marriage as a kind of incest, as they 
supposed she had, in fact, the husband of her sister. 

On this occasion her brother Charles sent her the fol- 
lowing lines, which most certainly never were designed 
to be made public ; for he was afterwards convinced that 
he had received a very imperfect account of the trans- 
action, and even justified the conduct of his sister. 


When want, and pain, and death besiege our gate, 
And every solemn moment teems with fate ; 
While cloud and darkness fill the space between, 
Perplex th' event, and shade the folded scene ; 
In humble silence wait th' unuttered voice, 
Suspend thy will, and check thy forward choice ; 
Yet, wisely fearful, for th' event prepare ; 
And learn the dictates of a brother's care. 
How fierce thy conflict, how severe thy flight, 
When hell assails the foremost sons of light ; 
When he, who long in virtue's paths had trod, 
Deaf to the voice of conscience and of God, 
Drops the fair mask, — proves traitor to his vow ; 
And thou, the temptress, and the tempted thou ! 
Prepare thee then to meet th' infernal war, 
And dare beyond what woman knows to dare : 
Guard each avenue to thy fluttering heart, 
And act the sister's and the Christian's part. 
Heaven is the guard of virtue ; scorn to yield, 
When screened by heaven's impenetrable shield. 


Secure in this, defy th' impending storm, 

Though Satan tempt thee in an angel's form. 

And, oh, I see the fiery trial near ; 

I see the saint, in all his forms, appear. 

By nature, by religion, taught to please, 

With conquest flushed, and obstinate to press, 

He lists his virtues in the cause of hell, 

Heaven, with celestial arms, presumes t' assail ; 

To veil with semblance fair the fiend within, 

And make his God subservient to his sin ! 

Trembling I hear his horrid vows renewed, 

I see him come, by Delia's groans pursued. 

Poor injured Delia ! all her groans are vain ; 

Or he denies, or listening mocks her pain. 

What, though her eyes with ceaseless tears o'erflow, 

Her bosom heave with agonizing woe ; 

What, though the horror of his falsehood near 

Tear up her faith, and plunge her in despair ; 

Yet can he think (so blind to heaven's decree, 

And the sure fate oi cursed apostasy), 

Soon as he tells the secret of his breast, 

And puts the angel off— and stands confessed ; 

When love, and grief, and shame, and anguish meet 

To make his crimes and Delia's wrongs complete, 

That then the injured maid will cease to grieve ; 

Behold him in a sister's arms, and live ! 

Mistaken wretch — by thy unkindness hurled 

From ease, from love, from thee, and from the world ; 

Soon must she land on that immortal shore, 

Where falsehood never can torment her more : 

There all her sufferings and her sorrows cease, 

Nor saints turn devils there to vex her peace ! 

Yet hope not then, all-specious as thou art, 

To taint with impious vows her sister's heart ; 

With proffered worlds her honest soul to move, 

Or tempt her virtue to incestuous love. 

No — wert thou as thou wast, did heaven's first rays 

Beam on thy soul, and all the Godhead blaze, 

Sooner shall sweet oblivion set us free 

From friendship, love, thy perfidy, and thee ; 


Sooner shall light in league with darkness join, 
Virtue and vice, and heaven and hell, combine, 
Than her pure soul consent to mix with thine ; 
To share thy sin, adopt thy perjury, 
And damn herself to be revenged on thee ; 
To load her conscience with a sister's blood, 
The guilt of incest, and the curse of God ! 

Perhaps this would hare been severe enough, had the 
case been even so bad as Mr. Charles conjectured. 

He had not examined the business. Poor Patty was 
in London, completely unconscious of what was going 
on at Epworth ; and bore the blame of receiving, for 
the first time, the addresses of a man who had just jilted 
her sister. I wish the reader to keep these two facts in 
view: — 1. Patty was addressed by Hall, consented to 
be his wife, and was betrothed to him before he ever 
saw Kezziah. 2. She was in London when Hall went 
down into Lincolnshire, and knew nothing of the trans- 
action with Kezziah at Epworth till a considerable time 
after it took place ; and had Hall then married Kezziah, 
the world would never have heard Martha's complaint, 
and Kezziah would have been bound to that miserable 
and profligate wretch who afterwards fell to the lot of 
her sister. When Martha found how matters stood, she 
wrote to her mother, and laid open the whole business, 
who on this explanation wrote her full consent, assuring 
her " that if she had obtained the consent of her uncle, 
there was no obstacle." 

Kezziah, on hearing the true relation, cordially re- 
nounced all claim to Hall ; and from every thing I have 
been able to learn, sat as indifferent to him, as if no 
such transaction had ever existed. Her uncle Matthew, 
with whom Patty lived for twelve years, was so satisfied 
with her conduct, and with the match, that he gave her 


£500 on her marriage, and the fullest testimony of "hex 
dutiful and grateful conduct during the whole time she 
had resided in his house." Kezziah also gave the fullest 
testimony of her approbation, by choosing to go and live 
with Mr. and Mrs. Hall, though she had a strong invi- 
tation to go and live with her brother Samuel, and hei 
brother John was to have given £50 per annum to have 
covered her expenses. 

The true state of the case was for some years un- 
known to the brothers ; and Mr. Wesley himself, in his 
letter to Hall, dated Dec. 2, 1747, charges him witl 
having " stolen Kezziah from the God of her youth 
that, in consequence, she refused to be comforted, and fell 
into a lingering illness which terminated in her death 
that her blood still cried unto God from the earth againsl 
him, and that surely it was upon his head." That this 
was Mr. Wesley's impression, I well know ; but it is noi 
strictly correct. I have the almost dying assertions o: 
Mrs. Hall, delivered to her beloved niece, Miss Wesley 
and by her handed hi writing to me, that the facts o 
the case were as stated above ; that "so little did Kezzial 
regret her faithless lover, and so fully sensible was she 
of her sister s prior claim, that she chose to live witl 
them, and lived in perfect harmony and comfort witl 
her sister. And so far from this disappointment short- 
ening her days, she resided between five and six years 
under the same roof; and had so completely subdued al 
affection towards Mr. Hall, that she had formed ar 
attachment to another gentleman, but his death pre- 
vented the union." * 

* I question much whether Miss Kezziah Wesley ever had anj 
strong affection for Mr. Hall ; or indeed for any other. A lettej 
of hers to her brother John, given by Mr. Moore, dated June 16 


This business being afterwards laid before Mr. Charles 
Wesley, who had written the preceding severe lines to 
his sister, and her prior engagement to Mr. Hall being 
pleaded, and the cruel injustice and censures she had 
suffered, he did not at all dispute the premises; saw 
that Martha had fully justified herself on the ground of 
her prior engagement ; but said, " she should not have 
mismatched herself with so worthless a man." He 
never liked Hall afterwards, though for a considerable 
time he conducted himself with propriety. During her 
lifetime it was proposed that Mrs. Hall should publish 
the real state of the case, that her character might not 
continue to he under such a load of unmerited censure 

1734, not long before Patty's marriage to Mr. Hall, sets this gene- 
ral indifference in a sufficiently strong light, and snows, at least, 
that she felt very little attachment to Hall, greatly preferring a 
single life. 

" Dear Brother, 
" I intended not to write till I could give you an account of Mr. 
Hall's affair ; but it is needless, because I believe he wont do any 
thing without your approbation. I am entirely of your opinion 
that we ought to • endeavour after perfect resignation ;' and I 
have learned to practise this duty in one particular, which I think 
is of the greatest importance in life, viz., marriage. I am as in- 
different as it is lawful for any person to be, whether I ever change 
my state or not ; because I think a single life is the more excellent 
way; and there are also several reasons why I rather desire to 
continue as I am. One is, because I desire to be entirely dis- 
engaged from the world ; but the chief is, I am so well apprised 
of the great duty a wife owes to her husband, that I think it is 
almost impossible she should ever discharge it as she ought. 
But I can scarce say I have the liberty of choosing; for my 
relations are continually soliciting me to marry. I shall endeavour 
to be as resigned and cheerful as possible to whatever God is 
pleased to ordain for me." 


and calumny. To which she answered, "Once I did 
intend to do so; but I am now so soon removing tc 
another world, where all is known, and will be made 
known, that it is unimportant what mortals may think 
or say of me." This statement Mrs. Hall took on hei 
conscience into the eternal world ; and perhaps a mor< 
upright and conscientious woman never drew the breath 
of life. But the thing speaks for itself. 1. Can it b( 
supposed that such a woman as Mrs. Wesley, senior 
would have unhesitatingly given her consent to he- 
marriage with Hall, had she not been perfectly satisfie< 
with the propriety of her conduct ? 2. Can it be ima 
gined that her uncle Matthew, who stood high on hi: 
honour, would have given his consent, with the mos 
positive testimony to the excellence of her conduct whih 
in his house, and sealed the whole, on her marriage 
with a present of five hundred pounds, if he had no 
been persuaded that she had acted honourably ? 3. I 
it at all likely that a Avoman of Mrs. Hall's tender, ex 
quisitely tender, and compassionate feelings would hav 
married to break a beloved sister s heart ? 4. Or tha 
this sister would have chosen to have lived with hei 
had she had reason to believe her at all culpable ? Sh 
found out that Hall had betrothed her sister, but ha 
concealed it, caitiff as he was ; and finding that Patty 1 
affections had been engaged, and her claim prior, sh 
resolved to show the world, by thus being with her, tha 
she had no cause for resentment against the sister. 

That the brothers should think that there was n 
prospect of happiness with such a weathercock, is quit 
natural and reasonable ; and it is most certain that Mi 
Charles Wesley's severe lines were written before h 
was made acquainted with the circumstances of the cast 
Mrs. Hall always justified her own conduct ; and eve 


maintained that her marrying Hall gave no umbrage to 

Her composure under suppositions and aspersions so 
injurious to her fame was astonishing. The selfish 
principle seemed annihilated in her; and she bore blame 
and obloquy, rather than, by vindicating herself, involve 
others. She has been loaded with invective ; and the 
biographers of her brothers have added to the number 
of her detractors. 

Mr. Southey has also been misled ; and his treatment 
of the character of this excellent woman is far from 
candid. He not only details all that others have said, 
who should have informed themselves better ; but by 
his nervous and elegant language he has given a more 
vivid colouring to mistakes and slanders, of which I 
readily grant he was not the inventor. But the maxim, 
De mortuis et absentibus nil nisi bonum, did not suffi- 
ciently govern his pen. It has still been objected, " she 
should not have taken Hall." I have already shown 
that she was solemnly betrothed to him. He became 
unfaithful : but he appeared to stop in time, came back 
to her a penitent, and alleged that God had convinced 
him of the vice of his conduct, when on the point of 
sacrificing her peace and his own conscience. Could 
she, or should she, as matters then stood, refuse him ? 
Would it have been right to have turned him back again 
to her deceived sister ? Surely not. Nor could Kezziah 
have wedded him without being guilty of that species of 
incest of which Mr. Charles charged his innocent sister, 
at the time he was unacquainted with the true state of 
the case. 

Mr. Southey says, that " Mrs. Hall bore her fate with 
resignation, and with an inward consciousness that her 
punishment was not heavier than her fault" This I 


totally deny: she had no such consciousness. Her 
feelings and the dictates of her heart on this subject 
ever were, — 

Hie murus aheneus esto, 
Nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa. 

Hob. Ep. lib. i., E. 1, ver. 60. 

This is my brazen bulwark of defence, 
A consciousness of spotless innocence ; 
The vile accuser still I dare to meet, 
Nor e'er turn pale at what he dares repeat. 

Mrs. Hall ever vindicated her conduct. To her dying 
hour she testified the purity and approbation of her 
conscience in the whole business ; and it was the con- 
sciousness of having acted right in the sight of God in 
this matter, that enabled her to bear all his profligacy 
and unkind treatment with an even mind and unbroken 
spirit. And suppose that, on the principles which the 
detractors of this excellent and injured woman hold, he 
had been permitted to marry Kezziah, would he have 
been a better husband, or a better man ? No. The 
seeds of all his profligacy were deeply radicated in him ; 
and they would have produced their correspondent fruits, 
had he been married to an angel. He was a man of no 
mind ; when even sincere, he acted not by scripture or 
reason, but by impulse. He did not consult his judg- 
ment, for he had but little to consult ; and had he been 
anywhere out of Paradise, he would have been a versa- 
tile, shatter-brained, and, by turns, a pious and profligate 
man. Let his natural fickleness of character, and his 
imbecility of mind, tell, as far as it may, in vindication 
of his conduct. He is gone to another world, and his 
judgment is with God ! 

I rejoice that it has been in my power to withdraw 


the thick veil that has been spread over this woman* s 
innocence. I can assure my readers, that I have not 
advanced a single fact that is not founded on unexcep- 
tionable documents; and that I can produce both written 
and oral testimony to confirm the whole. The further 
anecdotes and facts which I shall shortly produce will 
serve still more particularly to illustrate the unimpeach- 
able character of this woman, and to confirm the reader 
in his conviction of her innocence. 

As the circumstances above related were little known 
to the public, if at all, the marriage of Mr. Wesley Hall 
and Miss Patty Wesley became the subject of public 

I shall subjoin a copy of verses, printed in the Gen- 
tleman's Magazine for September, 1735, p. 551, in which 
year Miss M. Wesley was married to Mr. W Hall. 



Hymen, light thy purest flame, 

Every sacred rite prepare, 
Never to thy altar came 

A more pious, faithful pair. 


Thee, dispensing mighty pleasure, 

Rashly sensual minds invoke ; 
Only those partake thy treasure 

Paired in virtue's easy yoke. 


Such are Hall and Wesley joining, 
Kindred souls with plighting hands, 

Each to each entire resigning, 
One become by nuptial bands. 


Happy union, which destroys 
Half the ills of life below; 
But the current of our joys 

Makes with double vigour flow 
Sympathizing friends abate 
The severer strokes of fate ; 
Happy hours still happier prove 
When thev smile on those we love. 

Joys to vulgar minds unknown 
Shall their daily converse crown ; 
Easy slumbers, pure delights, 
Bless their ever-peaceful nights. 

O Lucina, sacred power, 

Here employ thy grateful care ; 
Smiling on the genial hour, 

Give an offspring wise and fair ! 
That, when the zealous sire shall charm no more 
Th' attentive audience with his sacred lore, 
Those lips in silence closed, whose heavenly skill 
Could raptures with persuasive words instil ; 
A son may in the important work engage, 
And with his precepts mend the future age ! 
That when the accomplished mother, snatched by fate, 
No more shall grace the matrimonial state ; 
No more exhibit in her virtuous life 
The bright exemplar of a perfect wife ; 
A daughter, blest with each maternal grace, 
May shine the pattern of the female race ! 

J. Duick. 

As to the father and his offspring, these prayers were 
not answered; but the whole conduct of Mrs. Hall, 
during this unfortunate marriage, did prove her to be 
" The bright exemplar of a perfect wife." 


Mr. Hall did not act improperly towards his wife, and 
towards the Wesley family, at first, as appears from a 
letter of Mrs. Susannah Wesley, dated Wootton, Aug. 
5, 17375 and which has before been given at length. 
Mrs. W says, " Mr. Hall and his wife are very good to 
me. He behaves like a gentleman and a Christian; 
and my daughter with as much duty and tenderness as 
can be expected ; so that on this account I am very 

After having for a long time the highest respect and 
veneration for his brother-in-law, Mr. John Wesley, 
through his own natural fickleness, and the evil advice 
of certain persons, who were then denominated the still 
brethren, he became estranged from the guide of his 
youth. Of this Mr. W complained in a letter written to 
his sister, dated, 

"Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nov. 17, 1742. 
" Dear Sister, 

" I believe the death of your children is a great in- 
stance of the goodness of God towards you. You have 
often mentioned to me how much of your time they 
took up. Now that time is restored to you, and you 
have nothing to do but to serve our Lord without care- 
fulness and without distraction, 'till you are sanctified in 
body, soul, and spirit. 

" As soon as I saw Mr. Hall, I invited him to stay at 
the Foundry ; but he desired I would have him excused. 
There is a strange inconsistency in his tempers and sen- 
timents with regard to me. The still brethren have 
gradually infused into him as much as they could of 
their own contempt of me and my brother, and dislike 
of our whole method of proceeding, which is as different 
from theirs as light from darkness. Nay, they have 



blunderingly taught him to find fault even with my 
economy and outward management both of my family 
and society. Whereas, I know this is the peculiar talent 
which God has given me, wherein (by his grace) I am 
not behind the very chiefest of them. Notwithstanding 
this, there remains in him something of his old regard 
for me, which he had at Oxford ; and by and by it 
will prevail. He will find out these wretched men, and 
the clouds will flee away. 

" My belief is, that the present design of God is, to 
visit the poor desolate church of England; and that 
therefore neither deluded Mr. Gambold, nor any who 
leave it, will prosper. pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 
" They shall prosper that love thee." Mr. Hall has paid 
me for the books. I don't want any money of you; 
your love is sufficient. But write as often and as largely 
as you can to 

" Your affectionate friend and brother, 

"J. Wesley." 

Mr. Hall passed from change to change, still in the 
deteriorating ratio; and from excess to excess in the 
ratio of geometrical progression, till he became a proverb 
of reproach and shame ; — 

The vilest husband, and the worst of men. 

And on January 6, 1776, he died at Bristol, probably a 
penitent, exclaiming in his last hours, as Mrs. Hutchins 
testified, " I have injured an angel ! an angel that never 
reproached me !" 

It was by the instrumentality of Mr. J. Wesley he 
was brought to the knowledge of the truth, which, for 
a time, he illustrated by his conduct, and defended and 
enforced by his preaching. But when he forsook God, 


he turned also his back on his best earthly friend. How 
he treated Mr. TV"., when he paid him a friendly visit at 
Salisbury, will appear from the following extract of a 
letter from Mr. TV"., dated Feb. 2, 1747 :— 

" Poor Mr. Hall, when I was at Salisbury, furnished 
me with a sufficient answer to those who speak of the 
connexion between him and us. He could not have set 
the matter in a clearer light than by turning both me 
and my sister out of doors." 

Those who wish to see a full account of his delin- 
quencies may consult the faithful letter sent to him by 
Mr. John Wesley, December 22, 1747? iu his Journals, 
vol. ii., p. 435. 

Of his death Mr. "Wesley speaks thus : — 

" I came (to Bristol) just time enough, not to see, but 
to bury, poor Mr. Hall, my brother-in-law, who died on 
Wednesday morning, January 6, 1776, I trust in peace; 
for God had given him deep repentance. Such another 
monument of divine mercy, considering how low he had 
fallen, and from what heights of holiness, I have not 
seen, no, not in seventy years. I had designed to have 
visited him in the morning ; but he did not stay for my 
coming. It is enough if, after all his wanderings, we 
meet again in Abraham's bosom." Journal, vol. v., 

p- 177- 

I need scarcely say, that Mr. Hall, who was a clergy- 
man of the Church of England, and had a curacy at 
Salisbury, became a Moravian and Quietist, an Antino- 
mian, a Deist, if not an Atheist, and a Polygamist, 
which last he defended in his teaching, and illustrated 
by his practice. He married Miss Patty Wesley in 
1735, and died in 1776, being her husband for about 
forty years. 

Two or three extracts from letters written by Mrs. 




Hall to her husband during his delinquencies, will show 
both her feelings and good sense, under circumstances 
the most trying to a female mind : — 

" Being at last convinced that I cannot possibly oblige 
you any longer, by anything I can say or do, I have for 
some time determined to rid you of so useless a burden, 
as soon as it should please God to give me an oppor- 
tunity. If you have so much humanity left for a wife 
who has lived so many years with you, as to allow any 
thing toward a maintenance, I will thank you." 

" Though I should have been very glad to have heard 
from you, yet I cannot wonder at your not answering 
my letter, seeing I not only left you a second time, but 
desired conditions, which I fear you do not find yourself 
at all disposed to grant. Indeed, I am obliged to plead 
guilty to the charge ; and as I look upon you as the 
sole judge, I shall make no appeal from that sentence ; 
only, I desire leave to speak a few words before you 
pass it. You may remember, whenever I was angry 
enough to talk of leaving you, you could never work me 
up to such an height, as to make me say, I would never 
return. Indeed, I could never bear the thought of 
laying myself under any such engagement. I had some 
hopes that when I was at a distance from you, I might 
possibly prevail upon you to tell me the meaning of an 
expression that once dropped from you, which, though 
to an unconcerned person might seem a trivial word, yet 
to me appears to be a thing of the utmost concern, since 
so much both of my happiness and yours has depended, 
and must still depend, upon it, at least so long as I am 
in the body. It was, ' That if I had behaved myself as 
I ought, you should have had no occasion for another 


wife.' I cannot persuade myself you would say such a 
thing without a meaning, especially as you did not ap- 
pear to be in any passion when you said it. Therefore, 
I beg you would tell me your meaning. If I have for- 
feited all other ties, I conjure you, by that of common 
humanity, to tell me, that I may know what fatal de- 
lusion could make me offend a person, whom, of all 
creatures upon earth, I desired most to please. I shall 
be exceedingly obliged to you, if you will be so good as 
to satisfy me in this particular. But be that as it may, 
whether you think fit to grant or deny my request, one 
thing I must inform you of, which is, that I never can, 
so long as I am in my senses, wilfully bring any evil 
upon you ! No, death does not appear so shocking to 
me, as endeavouring to lay you under any other obliga- 
tions than those of conscience and honour. For which 
reason, I design to put myself again absolutely in your 
power. If you make a kind use of that power, I shall 
thank God and you. If not, the time is very short that 
I can stay on this side the grave ; and in the same senti- 
ments that I have lived, I trust it will be given me to 
die. Price tells me you talked of coming up to town ; 
I should be very glad to see you ; your child, and wife 
too, will be entirely at your service. But if Bar does 
not oblige you to come,. I cannot desire you to be at so 
much expense and trouble on my account; though you 
might be at my lodging for the time I suppose you 
would stay. However, I desire you would be so kind 
as to answer this, and let me know your mind as soon 
as possible, if you have the least concern for your ever 
faithful and affectionate wife." 

Having cleared Mrs. Hall's character and conduct in 
reference to her marriage, it may be necessary to con- 


sider her behaviour as a wife to one of the worst and 
most unkind of husbands. I will adduce one instance 
recorded by witnesses on the spot, and corroborated by 
herself, on being questioned as to its truth. 

When they lived at Fisherton, near Salisbury, where 
they had a large house and garden, near the church 
where he ministered, she had taken a young woman into 
the house as a seamstress, whom Mr. Hall seduced: 
such was the beginning of his ways. Mrs. Hall, being 
quite unsuspicious, was utterly ignorant of any improper 
attachment between her husband and the girl. 

Finding the time of the young woman's travail draw- 
ing near, he feigned a call to London on some important 
business and departed. Soon after his departure, the 
woman fell in labour. Mrs. Hall, one of the most feel- 
ing and considerate of women on such occasions, ordered 
her servants to go instantly for a doctor. They all re- 
fused ; and when she had remonstrated with them on 
their inhumanity, they completed her surprise by in- 
forming her that the girl, to whom they had given any 
thing but her own name, was in labour, through her 
criminal connexion with Mr. Hall, and that they all 
knew her guilt long before. She heard, without betray- 
ing any emotion, what she had not before even suspected, 
and repeated her commands for assistance. They, full 
of indignation at the unfortunate creature, and strangely 
inhuman, absolutely refused to obey; on which Mrs. 
Hall immediately went out herself, and brought in a 
midwife ; called on a neighbour ; divided the only six 
pounds she had in the house, and deposited five with 
her, who was astonished at her conduct ; enjoined kind 
treatment, and no reproaches, and then set off for London, 
found her husband, related in her own mild manner the 
circumstances, told him what she had done, and prevailed 


upon him to return to Salisbury as soon as the young 
woman could be removed from the house. He thought 
the conduct of his wife not only Christian but heroic ; 
and was for a time suitably affected by it ; but having 
embraced the doctrine of polygamy, his reformation was 
but of short continuance. Mr. Hall was guilty of 
many similar infidelities ; and after being the father of 
ten children by his wife, nine of whom lie buried at 
Salisbury, he abandoned his family, went off to the 
West Indies with one of his mistresses, lived there with 
her till she died, and afterwards, returning to England, 
professing penitential sorrow, he was cordially received 
by his injured and incomparable wife, who showed him 
every Christian attention till his death, which took place, 
as related above, Jan. 6, 1776, at Bristol.* Notwith- 
standing all her bad treatment, Mrs. Hall was never 
heard to speak of her husband but with kindness. She 
often expressed wonder that women should profess to 
love their husbands, and yet dwell upon their faults, or 
indeed upon those of their friends. She was never known 
to speak evil of any person. 

" Give me to feel another's woe, 
To hide the faults I see," 

was her maxim ; exposure of vice she believed never 
did any good. "Tell your neighbour his fault," said she, 
" between him and you alone ; when you censure, spare 
not the vice — but the name." 

Her only remaining child, Wesley Hall, was a very 

* I have heard from the family, that after Mr. Hall's departure 
from his wife, not to the West Indies, but to Ireland, his wife 
never saw him more. In what is related above, 1 have followed 
Mr. Moore's statement. 


promising youth ; he lived till he was fourteen, and then 
died of the small-pox. He was educated at the expense 
of his uncles John and Charles. When his life was de- 
spaired of, his mother was sent for ; but she came too 
late, the amiable youth had breathed his last before her 
arrival. Her tenderness as a mother was known to be 
so great, that they dreaded the effect this melancholy 
event might have on her mind when she came to the 
knowledge of it, especially as there had been a very 
reprehensible want of care in the family where he was 
boarded, which was supposed to have accelerated, if not 
caused, his death. But she bowed to this dispensation 
of Providence, which had deprived her of her last earthly 
hope and support; she bore the dreadful stroke with 
humility, meekness, and fortitude. No reflections on 
second causes ; no violence of grief; no complaints of 
her bitter fate : all her conduct evinced the Christian, 
and the Christian parent. 

In the Funeral Hymns, published by Mr. Wesley, and 
printed by Mr. Pine, Bristol, 1769, there are two, the 
tenth and eleventh, on the death of this most promising 
lad. In the latter the state of the father is most awfully 



Where is the fair Elysian flower, 
The blooming youth that charmed our eyes 1 

Cut down and withered in an hour, 
But now transplanted to the skies. 

He triumphs o'er the mouldering tomb ; 

He blossoms in eternal bloom ! 

Nor did he perish immature, 

Who, starting, won the shortened race, 


Unspotted from the world, and pure, 
And saved and sanctified by grace. 
The child fulfils his hundred years, 
And ripe before his God appears. 


Witness his ardent one desire 

To live, if spared, for God alone ; 
But rather, with the tuneful choir, 

To join the souls around the throne. 
He grasps on earth the prize above, 
And all his soul is prayer and love. 

When reason fled the rack of pain, 

Love still defied the torturer's powei ; 
Love, deathless love, does still remain, 

And consecrates his final hour ; 
And wafts him to his native place, 
And crowns his brow with golden rays. 


Ascending to that world of light, 

He quits our dreary vale of death, 
But drops his mantle in his flight, 

His blessing, on his friends beneath. 
Thrice happy, if his virtue's heirs ! 
If given to his dying prayers ! 

Happy, whoe'er his wants supplied, 

Or served an heir of glory here ! 
Happy the souls to thine allied, 

That saw their shining pattern near ! 
Happy the mates thou leav'st below, 
If wise, with thee, their God to know ! 

But chiefly blest the womb that bare, 

The paps that nursed a child like thee, — 
A child of providence and prayer, 

Ordained his Father's face to see. 



T' enjoy his love, to chaunt his praise. 
In rapturous everlasting lays. 

'Tis done ! The soul is wafted there, 

Where kindred saints and angels join! 
We cast away our mournful care ; 

We bow and bless the will divine. 
Let God resume whom God has given, 
And take us after him to heaven. 

Rest, happy saint ! with God secure, 

Lodged in the bosom of the Lamb ; 
Thy joy is full, thy state is sure, 

Through all eternity the same ; 
The heavenly doors have shut thee in, 
The mighty gulf is fixed between. 

Thy God forbad the son to bear 

The father's wickedness below : 
And, oh ! thou canst not suffer there 

His foul reproach, his guilty woe ; 
His fearful doom thou canst not feel, 
Or fall, like him, from heaven to hell. 


That tender sense of infant grace 

(Extinct in him) which dwelt in thee, 

Nor sin nor Satan can efface ; 

From pain and grief for ever free ; 

Thou canst not now his fall deplore, 

Or pray for one that prays no more. 

Yet may thy last expiring prayer 

For a lost parent's soul prevail, 
And move the God of love to spare — 

T' arrest him at the mouth of hell ! 
O God of love ! thine ear incline, 
And save a soul that once was thine 1 


Thou didst his heaven-born spirit draw, 

Thou didst his child-like heart inspire, 
And fill with love's profoundest awe ; 

Though now, inflamed with hellish fire, 
He dares thy favourite Son blaspheme, 
And hates the God that died for him ! 

Commissioned by the dying God, 

Blessed with a powerful ministry, 
The world he pointed to thy blood, 

And turned whole multitudes to thee ; 
Others he saved, himself a prey 
To hell — a hopeless castaway. 

Murderer of souls, thou know'st he lives, 

(Poor souls, for whom thyself hast died) 
His dreadful punishment receives, 

And bears the mark of sullen pride ; 
And furious lusts his bosom tear, 
And the dire worm of sad despair. 

Condemned like haggard Cain to rove, 

By Satan and himself pursued, 
Apostate from redeeming love, 

Abandoned to the curse of God ; 
Thou hear'st the vagabond complain, 
Loud howling while he bites his chain. 

But, O thou righteous God ! how long 

Shall thy vindictive anger last 1 
Canst thou not yet forgive the wrong, 

Bid all his penal woes be past 1 
All power, all mercy, as thou art, 
O break his adamantine heart ! 


Before the yawning cavern close 
Its mouth on its devoted prey, 


Thou, who hast died to save thy foes, 
Thy death's omnipotence display ; 
And snatch from that eternal fire, 
And let him in thine arms expire ! 

We see from the preceding pages, that Mr. J. Wesley 
believed this prayer was answered ; and that Mr. Hall 
died a deep penitent. It might be so ; nothing is im- 
possible to God. He was once in grace; made a 
complete shipwreck of faith and a good conscience ; long 
served the devil with an undivided heart, not only for- 
getting that he had been purged from his old sins, but 
blaspheming the God that bought him. If old W Hall 
found mercy, none out of hell need despair. We must 
leave him in the hands of his Judge. But oh, reader, it 
is a grievous and bitter thing to sin against the Lord ! 
No wonder that in dying he should exclaim, "I have 
injured an angel that never reproached me !" Of her 
excellence and forbearance we shall have further proofs. 

I have seen a folio printed sheet, containing the first 
part of this elegy, evidently the publication of Mr. Hall ; 
for it is connected with the following poem : "The Art 
of Happiness, or The Right Use of Reason ; an epistle 
to Wesley Hall, Junior." It opens with — 

' My son, my son, if e'er a parent's voice 
Has power to warn, let this direct thy choice : 
Take reason's path, and mad opinions leave, — 
Reason is truth that never can deceive.'' 

The whole is a miserable deistical address, strongly 
advising his son to follow the dictates of his own nature, 
as the best way of fulfilling the purposes of his Creator ! 

" Indulge thy genius, follow nature's call ; 
Nature is God's vicegerent, ruling all." 


I think lie had his brothers-in-law, John and Charles 
Wesley, in view, in the following lines, where, declaiming 
against superstition and bigotry, he adds, — 


The voice of nature, make of God a fiend, 

And bid revengeful fire from heaven descend ! 

Inspired with frantic, false, fanatic zeal, 

See with what rage they threat damnation, hell, 

To all who fair expose the wretched lies, 

The frauds, the follies, falsehood, forgeries, 

Of Romish fathers, councils, canons, schools, 

Impostors' orders, monks' and madmen's rules." 

Love, the universal passion, is most highly eulogized ; 
it is nature's and reason's law ! 

" By thee inspired, we learn each tuneful art, 
To raise the passions, or improve the heart ; 
The mystic union of the sounding strings, 
The wondrous commerce of the secret springs, 
Whence social joy and sympathetic pain, 

And friendship's force, and love's eternal reign. 


With all the mighty charms by heaven designed, 
To raise the bliss of every godlike mind, 
In love concentring, form that image bright, 
The fairest mirror of th' Eternal Lisrht." 


And without any reference to God's Spirit, his book, 
or his religion, he concludes his ungodly advices to his 
godly son, in these words, — 

" Instructed thus, mayst thou a temple raise, 
More glorious far than that of ancient days ; 
The work of wisdom, and of virtue fair, 
With strength and beauty built beyond compare, 
By reason's perfect rule, and nature's scale, 
Which God's whole order may to man reveal ; 
Where all things tend, and whence they all began, 
Of his machinery the wondrous plan." 

Some have supposed that there must have been an 


apathy in Mrs. Hall's nature, to bear the most grievous 
wrongs, and the heaviest losses ; but such persons have 
not considered to what heights of excellence the human 
mind may be exalted by reason and religion. 

When Mr. Charles Wesley asked her " how she could 
give money," as previously related, "to her husband's 
concubine ?" she answered, "I knevfr I could obtain what 
I wanted from many ; but she, poor hapless creature, 
could not ; many thinking it meritorious to abandon her 
to the distress which she had brought upon herself. Pity 
is due to the wicked ; the good claim esteem ; besides, I 
did not act as a woman, but as a Christian." 

There are several still alive who can attest her sensi- 
bility ; the poor, the sick, the afflicted of all descriptions, 
excited in her the deepest feelings of sympathy. Like her 
brother John, she was ready to bear the burden of every 
sufferer ; to deny herself the necessaries of life in order 
to relieve the needy ; and to be stoical in no sufferings 
but her own. 

This was the character of the founder of Methodism ; 
this was that of his excellent sister. Her charity was 
unbounded ; and the charity of a person reduced to an 
income so limited was " the munificence of the widow's 
mite, founded on self-denial." Her brother, Mr. Charles 
Wesley, has said, "It is in vain to give Pat any thing to 
add to her comforts, for she always gives it away to some 
person poorer than herself." 

Another instance will farther illustrate this part of her 
character. In proportion as Mr. Hall advanced in profli- 
gacy, he lost all sense of decorum, and that shame which, 
in all bad characters not wholly abandoned to vice, 
usually accompanies the exposure of guilt. He had the 
frontless inhumanity, one day, to bring in one of his 
illegitimate infants; and he ordered his wife to take 
charge of it till he could provide it with a suitable situ- 


ation. She ordered a cradle to be brought, placed the 
babe in it, and continued to perform for it all requisite 
acts of humanity. 

While nursing this illegitimate, her only remaining 
child, Wesley Hall, of whom I have already spoken, had 
by some means displeased his father, who had now as 
little government of his temper as he had of his passions ; 
for under a course of such transgressions a man usually 
becomes a sot or a fury. He rose up in a violent rage, 
thrust the child into a dark closet, and locked him up. 
The child was terrified to distraction. Mrs. Hall, with 
her usual calmness, desired him to release the child. 
He refused. She entreated ; — he was resolute. She as- 
serted that the punishment was f^r beyond the fault ; — he 
still hesitated. She then summoned up the more than 
female dignity and courage which formed that part of her 
character that led her to decide on the line of oonduct 
which she ought to pursue, from the evidence brought to 
her reason and conscience, and thus addressed him : 
" Sir, thank the grace of God, that while my child is 
thus cruelly treated, suffering to distraction a punishment 
he has not merited, I had not turned your babe out of 
the cradle ; but you must go and unlock the closet, and re- 
lease the child, or/ will immediately do it." This tone was 
too decisive to be treated with either neglect or contempt. 
Mr. Hall arose, unlocked the closet, and released the 
child. Even in this trifling case, her cool philosophy was 
as much in action as her piety : she wished the authority 
of the father to be preserved, that it might appear to the 
child that the same mouth which had pronounced the 
sentence might pronounce its repeal ; and that the hand 
that had committed to prison might effect its discharge. 

It is a hapless case when the parents are not agreed 
either in the management or correction of their children ; 


frdm the minds of children thus treated, it removes all 
sense of moral good and evil ; they see their parents are 
not agreed in their correction, and they are led in conse- 
quence to consider the punishment to be arbitrary and 
cruel. They hate the corrector, and love the intercessor, 
or that one who takes their part ; and it is a million to 
one, humanly speaking, that what is called the moral 
sense will be, in consequence, utterly obliterated from 
their minds. 

Mrs. Hall could not endure the sight of misery which 
she could not relieve ; it quite overwhelmed her. One 
day she came to the house of her brother Charles, appa- 
rently sinking under distress, and looking like a corpse. 
On inquiry, it was found that a hapless woman had come 
to her, and related such a tale of real woe, that she took 
the creature into her own lodging, and had kept her for 
three days ; and the continual sight of her wretchedness — 
wretchedness that she could not fully receive, so affected 
her, that her own life was sinking into the grave. The 
case was immediately made known to that " son of con- 
solation," her brother John, whose eye and ear never 
failed to affect his heart at the sight or at the tale of 
misery. He took immediate change of his sister's un- 
fortunate guest, and had her provided for according to 
her wants and distresses. 

All Mrs. Hall's movements were deliberate, slow, and 
steady. In her eye, her step, her speech, there appeared 
an innate dignity and superiority, which were so mingled 
with gentleness and good nature, as ever to excite re- 
spect and reverence, but never fear; for all children 
loved her, and sought her company. 

Her safety excited much anxiety in the minds of her 
friends, when, at an advanced age, she would take long 
walks through crowded streets ; for she never quickened 


her pace in crossings, even when carriages were in full 
drive. Her niece, Miss Wesley, being one day with her 
in Bloomsbury-square, when a coach was closely follow- 
ing, urged her, hut in vain, to quicken her pace. Striving 
to pull her out of the way of danger, she unluckily pulled 
her off her feet, just before the horses. When she got 
up, she calmly observed, that " the probability of being 
injured by a fall was greater than of being run over by 
the coachman, who could gain no advantage by it ; on 
the contrary, much disadvantage and expense." These 
remarks she made to her niece standing in the crossing, 
with horses trampling before and behind. Fortunately 
the coachman had pulled up his horses, or they had 
both been under the wheels long before the speech was 

She spent much time, at his own particular request, 
with Dr. Samuel Johnson, who was strongly attached to 
her, and ever treated her with high reverence and respect. 
The injuries she had sustained, and the manner in which 
she had borne them, could not but excite the esteem of 
such a mind as his. 

They often disputed together on matters of theology 
and moral philosophy ; and in their differences of opinion, 
for they often differed, he never treated her with that 
asperity with which he often treated those opponents who 
appeared to plume themselves on their acquirements. He 
wished her very much to become an inmate in his house ; 
and she would have done so, had she not feared to pro- 
voke the jealousy of the two females already there, Mrs. 
Williams, and Mrs. Du Moulin, who had long resided 
under his roof, and whose queer tempers much embittered 
his social hours and comforts. She ventured to tell him 
the reason ; and he felt its cogency, as no doubt the com- 
parison between the tempers would have created much 


ill-will. As a frequent visitor, even they, cross-tempered 
as they were, highly valued Mrs. Hall. 

It is no wonder that. Dr. Johnson valued her conversa- 
tion. In many cases, it supplied the absence of books ; 
her memory was a repository of the most striking events 
of past centuries ; and she had the best parts of all our 
poets by heart. She delighted in literary discussions, and 
moral argumentations, not for the display, but for the 
exercise of her mental faculties, and to increase her fund 
of useful knowledge ; and she bore opposition with the 
same composure as regulated all the other parts of her 

The young and inexperienced, who had promising 
abilities, she exhorted to avoid that blind admiration of 
talents, which is apt to regard temper and the moral 
virtues as secondary, and infused an abhorrence of that 
satire and ridicule which too often accompany wit. Of 
wit she used to say, she was the only one of the family who 
did not possess it ; and Mr. Charles Wesley used to re- 
mark, that " Sister Patty was always too wise to be witty." 
Yet she was very capable of acute remark ; and once at 
Dr. Johnson's house, when she was on a grave discussion, 
she made one which turned the laugh against him, in 
which he cordially joined, as he felt its propriety and 

In his house at Bolt-court, one day, when Mrs. Hall 
was present, the doctor began to expatiate on the un- 
happiness of human life. Mrs. Hall said, " Doctor, you 
have always lived among the wits, not the saints ; and 
they are a race of people the most unlikely to seek true 
happiness, or find the pearl without price." I have 
already remarked, that she delighted in theological dis- 
cussions. It was her frequent custom to dwell on the 
goodness of God, in giving his creatures laws ; observing 


" that what would have been the inclination of a kind 
nature, was made a command, that our benevolent Creator 
might reward it ; he thus condescending to prescribe that 
as a duty, which, to a regenerate mind, must have been 
a wish and delight, had it not been prescribed." She 
loved the name of duties ; and ever blessed her gracious 
Redeemer, who enabled her to discharge them. In a 
conversation, there was a remark made, that the public 
voice was the voice of truth, universally recognised ; 
whence the proverb, Vox populi, vox Dei. This Mrs. 
Hall strenuously contested; and said the "public voice" 
in Pilate's Hall was, ' Crucify him ! crucify him !' " 

On Easter Sunday, April 15, 1781, Mr. Boswell (in 
his " Life of Johnson") mentions dining at the doctor's 
in company with several persons, among whom were 
Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Du Moulin, and Mrs. Hall, sister of 
the Rev. John "Wesley, and resembling him both in 
figure and manner. " I mentioned," says Boswell, " a 
kind of religious Robinhood society, which met every 
Sunday morning at Coachmakers'-hall, for free debate ; 
and that the subject for this night was, the text which 
relates, with other miracles which happened at our Sa- 
viour's death, — ' And the graves were opened, and many 
bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of 
the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy 
city, and appeared unto many.' ' Mrs. Hall said it was 
a very curious subject, and she should like to hear it 
discussed. Johnson replied, somewhat warmly, 'One 
would not go to such a place to hear it — one would not 
be seen in such a place — to give countenance to such a 
meeting. I, however, resolved that I would go. ' But 
Sir," said she to Johnson, ' I should like to hear you 
discuss it.' He seemed reluctant to engage in it. She 
talked of the resurrection of the human race in general, 


an'd maintained that we shall be raised with the same 
bodies. Johnson : 'Nay, Madam, we see that it is not to 
be the same body ; for the Scripture uses the illustration 
of grain sown. You cannot suppose that we shall rise 
with a diseased body ; it is enough if there be such a 
sameness as to distinguish identity of person.' She 
seemed desirous of knowing more, but he left the ques- 
tion in obscurity." 

Mrs. Hall had an innate horror of melancholy subjects. 
" Those persons," she maintained, " could not have real 
feeling, who could delight to see or hear details of misery 
they could not relieve, or descriptions of cruelty which 
they could not punish. Nor did she like to speak of 
death : it was heaven, the society of the blessed, and 
the deliverance of the happy spirit from this tabernacle 
of clay, not the pang of separation (of which she always 
expressed a fear), on which she delighted to dwell. She 
could not behold a corpse, " because," said she, " it is 
beholding sin sitting upon his throne." She objected 
strongly, to those lines in Mr. Charles Wesley's Funeral 
Hymns : — 

" Ah, lovely appearance of death ! 

What sight upon earth is so fair !" &c. 

Her favourite hymn among these was, 

" Rejoice for a brother deceased," &c. 

Few persons could be mentioned of whom she had 
not something good to say ; and if their faults were 
glaring, she would plead the influence of circumstances, 
education, and sudden temptation, to which all im- 
prisoned in a tenement of clay were liable, and by which 
their actions were often influenced. Yet she was no 
apologist for bad systems ; for she thought, with an old 


Puritan, that a fault in an individual was like a fever ; 
but a bad principle resembled a plague, spreading deso- 
lation and death over the community. Few persons feel 
as they should for the transgression which is the effect 
of sudden temptation to a well-circumstanced sin. 

She did not believe that the soul had its origin ex 
traduce, but that it was pre- existent ; which she said 
accounted best for the astonishing difference in human 
beings from infancy. Soame Jennings has written on 
this subject, and many of his reasonings on this point 
are the same with those she was accustomed to use.* 

It excited her surprise that women should dispute the 
authority which God gave the husband over the wife. 
" It is," said she, " so clearly expressed in Scripture, that 
one would suppose such wives had never read their 
Bible." But she allowed that this authority was only 
given after the fall, not before ; but " the woman," said 
she, "who contests this authority should not marry." 
Vixen and unruly wives did not relish her opinions on 
this subject ; and her example they could never forgive. 

In all her relations, and in all her concerns, she loved 
order. " Order is Heavens first law," was a frequent 
quotation of hers ; it produces, she would say, universal 

Conversing on the times of Oliver Cromwell, and the 
conduct of the Republicans, she got a little excited, and 
said, " The Devil was the first Independent." 

The works of Dean Swift were held in high esteem 
by all the Wesley family but herself. She could not 

* See, pn this controversy, Wesley's Journals, in his Works, 
vol. iv., p. 172, 8vo. edit., date, Oct. 1763 ; and Fletcher's Works, 
vol. ii., p. 128, 8vo. edit., p. 4 of the " Appeal to Matter of 
Fact," &c. 


endure the description of the Yahoos, in Gulliver's 
Travels ; and considered it as a reflection on the Creator, 
thus to ridicule the works of his hands. His " Tale of 
a Tub" she considered as too irreverent to be atoned for 
by the wit. 

Of her sufferings she spoke so little that they could 
not be learned from herself; I could only get acquainted 
with those I knew from other branches of the family. 
Her blessings, and the advantages she enjoyed, she was 
continually recounting. " Evil," she used to say, " was 
not kept from me ; but evil has been kept from harming 

Her manner of reproving sin was so gentle, so evi- 
dently the effect of love, that no one was ever known to 
be offended at it. Young people were so certain of her 
kindness, if they erred, that she was often chosen as a 
confessor among them. 

Though she abhorred every thing relative to death, 
considering it as the triumph of sin ; yet she spoke of 
her own removal with serenity. "When her niece, Miss 
Wesley, asked her if she would wish that she should 
attend her in her last moments, she answered, " Yes, if 
you are able to bear it : but I charge you not to grieve 
more than half an hour." 

Though she had a small property of her own, yet she 
was principally dependant on the bounty of her brothers 
after her husband had deserted her: and here was a 
striking illustration of the remark, that " in noble natures 
benefits do not diminish love on either side." She left 
to her niece, whom she dearly loved, and who well knew 
how to prize so valuable a woman, the little remains of 
her fortune, who in vain urged her to sink it on her own 
life, in order to procure her a few more comforts. 

Mr. Wesley, at his death, bequeathed her £40, to be 


paid out of the proceeds of the sale of his books. This 
was little : but he had nothing * to leave. This I well 
know, being one of his seven executors in trust. He 
had engaged to pay certain sums, which would have been 
paid out of the produce of his writings had he lived ; 
to discharge which, the trustees above-mentioned were 
obliged to borrow the money ! So much did he acquire 
by being the head of a large party, and after preaching 
the gospel for sixty years ! Mrs. Hall did not live to 
enjoy this legacy, as she died the same year with her 

Her niece, Miss Wesley, was with her in her last 
moments ; but this she permitted on the sole condition 
that she should not sleep at her (Mrs. Hall's) lodgings, 
" lest," as she said to her, " you should not sleep, and 
your anxiety might create mine." 

She had no disease, but a mere decay of nature. She 
spoke of her dissolution with the same tranquillity with 
which she spoke of everything else. A little before her 
departure she called Miss Wesley to her bed-side, and 
said, " I have now a sensation that convinces me my 
departure is near ; the heart-strings seem gently, but 
entirely j, loosened." 

Miss Wesley asked her if she was in pain ? " No," 
said she, "but a new feeling." Just before she closed 
her eyes she bade her niece come near ; she pressed her 
hand, and said, " I have the assurance which I have 

* " Jan. 9, 1789. I left no money to any one in my Will, because 
I had none ; but now, considering that whenever I am removed, 
money will soon arise by sale of books, I added a few legacies by 
a codicil, to be paid as soon as may be. But I would fain do a 
little good while I live ; for who can tell what will come after him V 
'—Journal, vol. vi., p. 181. 


long prayed for. Shout !" said she, and expired. Thus 
her noble and happy spirit passed into the presence of 
her Redeemer on the 12th of July, 1791,* about four 
months and nine days after the death of her brother 
John, and in the 85th year of her age. 

Her remains were interred in the City Road burial- 
ground, in the same vault with her brothers ; and on the 
tomb was inscribed, after her name and the date of her 
exit, the following words of Solomon, as descriptive of 
her character : — 

" She opened her Mouth in Wisdom, and in her Tongue 
was the law of Kindness." 

Prov. xxxi. 20. 

One of Miss Wesley's letters now before me contains 
the following sentiments :r— 

" Mrs. Susanna Wesley was a noble creature : but her 
trials were not such as Mrs. Hall's. Wounded in her 
affections in the tenderest part ; deserted by the husband 
she so much loved ; bereaved of her ten children ; falsely 
accused of taking her sister's lover, whereas, though 
ignorantly, that sister had taken him from her ; reduced 
from ample competency to a narrow income; yet no 
complaint was heard from her lips ! Her serenity was 
undisturbed, and her peace beyond the reach of calamity. 
Active virtues command applause ; they are apparent to 
every eye ; but the passive are only known to Him by 
whom they are registered on high, where the silent suf- 
ferer shall meet the full reward." 

In order that the life of this excellent woman may 

* The tomb-stone states her death to have taken place on the 
19th ; but that is incorrect. — Editor. 


receive the fullest illustration, and to render it more ex- 
tensively beneficial to the Christian church, I shall subjoin 
some extracts from her private diary, obligingly furnished 
by her niece, Miss Sarah Wesley. Though the reader 
will be required to retrace his steps in accompanying 
the same character, along the same road, yet it will be 
with this difference — to look more immediately into the 
interior than upon the exterior ; to attend to her deep, 
and constant, and holy communings with her God, 
rather than to behold her conduct and listen to her con- 
verse among her friends, her relations, and her foes. 
The extracts will show the real source from whence she 
drew in her supplies, and the principle which enabled 
her to conduct herself in the way she has been faithfully 
exhibited in these pages. 

"Mem. Sunday, Sept. 21, 1730. Prayed for de- 
liverance. Opened my Bible; the chapter I first found 
was Isaiah xxxvii., wherein is recorded a wonderful in- 
stance of God's goodness in answer to the prayer of 
Hezekiah — deliverance in a manner altogether mira- 
culous. Is he not as able to deliver me ? He is. 
Did he not in his mercy direct me to this place, to en- 
courage me to trust in him ? I will trust in Thee, O 
Saviour. I trust thou wilt not only deliver me in this 
calamity, but also from wrath and everlasting damnation. 
I know thou art not slow to hear, nor impotent to 

"Sunday, Oct. 11, 1730. Heard Gardiner on exem- 
plariness. Resolved to be more careful to improve daily 
in virtue. Help me, my Saviour !" 

[Then follows a long " Extract from Patrick's Heart's 



• No date. "'For a, small moment have I forsaken thee ; 
but with great mercies will I gather thee :— in a little 
wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment ; but with 
everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the 
Lord, thy Redeemer. For the mountains shall depart, 
and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not 
depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace 
be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee.' 
Isai. liv. 7, &c« 

" O Thou, who knowest I desire to be thy servant, 
fulfil these gracious promises to me. 

" Bless me, even me, O my Father ! 

"'This is the inheritance (or heritage) of the servants 
of the Lord ; and their righteousness is of me, saith the 

" Sunday Night, 1732. Read with great comfort the 
2nd chapter of St. Peter, 1st epistle : ' Ye were as sheep 
going astray ; but are now returned to the Shepherd 
and Bishop of your souls.' I return with all my soul to 
thee, O my Saviour ! O accept me, and keep me thine 
for ever, O my God." 

[[Then follows a discourse on meditation, a paraphrase 
on the Lord's Prayer, and miscellaneous observations.] 

"May 25, 1734. I have renewed my covenant with 
my God, through his great mercy. O help me, Saviour, 
to keep it, for thy mercy's sake !" 

" Aug. 3, 1734. God has once more brought me to 
this place, where there are many opportunities of serving 

him, which there was not at • . Oh, may I never 

return without a double portion of his blessed grace ! 

" I have dedicated myself anew to thee, O my God ! 


I have given thee my soul and body. claim me for 
thine own ! O let none take me again out of thine 
hand. I have resolved to make my conversion more 
useful; at least to endeavour it. To avoid all fierce- 
ness, and uncharitable truths. I have resolved, like- 
wise, to spend some time in meditating on what I read." 

" Feb. 26, 1737-8. Renewed again my covenant so- 
lemnly at the holy table. Resolved to consider every 
day how I may best serve my master ; what he requires 
of me. Saviour, help me to keep it so long as thou 
pleasest to command my service in this world !" 

" Sept. 29. Combe. I have renewed my covenant 
several times here. Resolved to seek more carefully after 
God ! O Saviour, be thou found of me ! Perhaps I was 
therefore sent to this place. Particularly renewed that 
resolution, to consider every day what my master re- 
quires of me." 

" London, Sept. 30, 1740. How many resolutions 
have I made, and how poorly kept them ; which was 
indeed no wonder, for I knew not that thou, O my 
Saviour, wouldst justify the ungodly ! Oh ! blessed love ! 
that nothing but misery and vileness should recommend 
us to thy mercy ! With all my soul I believe and 
embrace this blessed truth. I come vile and ungodly, 
pleading nothing but the promise ; but thou hast died 
that I might live for ever ! Amen ! ' Lord, I believe ; 
help thou my unbelief.' " 

" London, Jan. 25, 1741. Oh, how wise ! Good are 
all the ways of providence ! Surely it plainly says to you : 
* See here the good you have chosen ! the joy of your 
heart, the desire of your eyes ! has it made you amends 
for forgetting me or no V Oh, why should man take such 

r 2 


4atal pains to hew out to himself such broken cisterns, 
cisterns that can hold no water ! But, Lord, behold, I 
return unto thee! O receive me. Yes, I know thou 
wilt — thou dost! even though it may, perhaps, be the 
eleventh hour. Though I have been far from faithful to 
the grace lately received, yet leave not the blessed work 
unfinished. ' Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me 
clean.' The small spark I have is thy gift. Thy hand 
is not shortened. ' Lord, I believe; help thou my unbe- 
lief.' let me not forget thee. O let me not hold the 
truth in unrighteousness. Amen, Lord Jesus." 

"Salisbury, Good Friday, April 12, 1744. Of what 
infinite importance it is for every Christian to be con- 
tinually watching! praying against a Laodicean state! 
What infinite mercy has the blessed Saviour shown to 
me ! How gently has he called me, when I slumbered 
and slept. It is now about four years since I had 
such a sense of the remission of sins as delivered me 
from all fear. I believed in a little measure on the 
Lord Jesus ! He gave me to believe that because he 
lived I should live also! He came that his sheep 
might have life, and that they might have it more 
abundantly. Since I received this blessed sense first, I 
never had any painful fear of my state, nor yet any 
doubt that I had deceived myself, except for a few mo- 
ments, even though never believed my testi- 
mony; never, that I know of, in any degree, strengthened 
my hands in God! Yet, notwithstanding this great 
goodness of my blessed Redeemer, I insensibly grew 
lukewarm. I did not earnestly cry for the second gift, 
as I had for the first. But he that had begun his work 
would not leave it unfinished. All love, all glory be unto 
thee, O my blessed Redeemer, for ever. Amen. Hallelujah! 


Near a year ago, I was one evening retired into my cham- 
ber, with a design to spend some time in private prayer ; 
but before I kneeled down, all at once (without a thought 
of mine) I had a full clear sense that the Lamb of God 
had made an atonement for me ; that he had made full 
satisfaction for my sins ; so that, were he that moment 
to appear to judgment, I could stand before him: I saw, 
I felt (for I know not any better words to use), that the 
justice of the Almighty Father was satisfied, and that I 
could even appeal to it ! for I could say, ' There is my 
surety ! He hath paid my whole debt !' Hallelujah !" 

" Monmouth, Feb. 16, 1751-2. By what a series of 
strange providences am I at last come hither ! Wonder- 
ful are thy counsels, O God ! Infinite still is thy mercy 
towards thy unworthy servant ; else I should sink all 
at once ; no longer could I possibly bear up under such 
a weight of sorrow. — Never, in all my afflictions, have 
my spirits sunk so before, insomuch that I had well nigh 
given up all my hope. The enemy had very near torn 
away my shield. But, blessed for ever be the infinite 
mercy of God ! he hath once more lifted up my head ! 
Indeed, he has given me to see, that as I have not been 
faithful to the grace he gave me before my trial, so 
neither have I sought to him as I ought in the time 
of my distress. Yet, notwithstanding all, I humbly trust 
he has multiplied to pardon. Glory be to thee, O God ! 

" I have this day renewed my covenant with my 
blessed Redeemer at his holy table. I hope he will ac- 
cept my soul and body, to be from this day a holy sacri- 
fice to him. O that thou wouldst bless me with thy 
love ! O give me the power of watching unto prayer ! 
O praise the Lord, my soul, who hath once more raised 
thee up to taste of his goodness ! Trust in him who 


hath pardoned thy iniquity. He will never leave thee, 
nor forsake thee." 

" Salisbury, Aug. 1754. how unfaithful have I been 
— what unsuitable returns have I made to my Saviour's 
love! Shall I complain of ingratitude from a fellow- 
worm ? No, let me rather admire the goodness of God 
in suffering any of his creatures to show any kindness 
to me. I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, 
and that thou of very faithfulness hast caused me to 
be troubled. I am utterly ignorant how it will please 
God to dispose of me; but that I may be more faithful 
to thee, my Saviour, the remainder of my life. O let 
me not waste my precious time any more in trifles. 
Lord, save me from my want of love !" 

" Salisbury, Aug. 1, 1756. I am utterly astonished at 
my own amazing ingratitude ; at my unparalleled negli- 
gence. Once in about three or four years I commence 
with my own heart! O may I never entertain one 
thought of any neglect I have met with from a fellow- 
worm, without deeply considering how far more guilty I 
am myself! Surely the Lord hath spared, when I deserved 
punishment, and instead of wrath hath shown me great 
mercy ! Indeed, he hath at present called me to give up 
every friend; for though they are, in the common 
sense of the word, what we call friends, yet in respect to 
the cordial tenderness of friendship, they are far from it ! 
My breath is become strange to them ! My company they 
desire not, the less of it the better ! Yet this is only the 
kind desire and gracious voice of my Father, that calls me 
this way to him. O Lord, I come ! I come with all my 
strength ; O receive me, vile as I am ! O Saviour, let 
me lay down the burden of my sin at thy blessed feet ! 


O speak but the word, and thy servant shall be whole ! 
O save me from ingratitude — save me from forgetting 
thee- Thou hast graciously sealed again thy pardoning 
goodness this day to my soul Glory be to thee ! Thou 
hast permitted me, unworthy as I am, to offer up my 
soul and body to thee. O God, my Saviour, with all 
the powers of my soul I renew the oblation of myself to 
thee. O let me be, I most humbly beseech thee, a 
living sacrifice to thee ! O Lord, let nothing, for thy 
mercies' sake, separate me from thy love to all eternity- 
Even so, Amen ! Come,, Lord Jesus, and take eternal 
possession of thy servant ! 0, from this moment, let 
me find the blessed power to follow thee more faith- 
fully than heretofore, and not walk in darkness. 

" Sept. 12. — O what infinite mercy is it, that the 
blessed Redeemer still multiplies to pardon ! That by 
teaching us to pray daily for forgiveness, he has surely 
taught us, that he is graciously ready to forgive us our 
daily numberless infirmities, so we do but sincerely be- 
wail and strive against them ; and if we follow on, in 
his time, he will not fail to cleanse us from all unright- 
eousness. Amen, Lord Jesus ! that thou wouldst 
draw me ; draw me, and I will run after thee, but I 
cannot else ! Thou, blessed Lord, who hast taken upon 
thee to deliver man ; thou alone canst subdue the rebel 
in my soul ! Thou alone canst take away the heart of 
stone ! O wilt thou not now, gracious Lord and Mas- 
ter ? Can thy power be greater than thy love, when 
thou hadst love enough to die for poor sinners. It can- 
not ! It were the highest ingratitude to suppose it ! 
Lord, I believe ; help thou my unbelief — help me against 
my own heart, for that is all I fear ! Our temptations 
are of two kinds : from things that grieve — from things 


that please. The former fright, the latter allure us from 
our virtue. From poverty, pain, disgrace, or persecution, 
we fly to falsehood or fraud for escape But those ills are 
not the immediate cause of it, but want of faith in God's 
promises, that he will succour us in these exigencies, 
and deliver us in hi? good time — make all things work 
together for our good. On the other hand, when plea- 
sure entices, carries its point, we do not think those 
pleasures, be they what they will, preferable to heaven ; 
but heaven is at a distance — the soul is eager for pre- 
sent good. But why is heaven at a distance? For 
want of faith ; for faith is the substance of things hoped 
for, the evidence of things not seen. It antedates the 
existence of that which is future ; makes our conversation 
in heaven, though still in the body ; associates us with 
angels, though in our solitude ; and gives us greater joy in 
contemplation than the world can give in hand. This is 
true, or the conduct of the heroes in Scripture had been 
impracticable : and they, like ourselves, were but men." 

" July 29, 1759, Sunday.' — Solemnly renewed my 
vows at going to the holy table. Humbly implored my 
blessed Redeemer to take eternal possession of my soul 
and body ; and I trust he has. Amen, Lord Jesus ! I 
renounce, blessed Lord, from this moment, every- 
thing that is contrary to thy holy gracious will. O 
Christ, my Saviour, show forth the value of thy name, 
and Jesus prove to me. I give up my soul and body 
entirely into thy blessed hands, to be saved by thee 
alone in time and eternity. O be thou my portion ! 
preserve me for thy name's sake, from offending, from 
forgetting thee ! O lift but up the blessed light of 
thy countenance upon me, — it will abundantly supply 
the place of all friends ! " 


" Sept. 9, 1759. — that my ways were made so 
direct that I might keep thy statutes. Lord, fulfil 
thy blessed will in me. Again renewed my solemn vow 
at the holy table. O blessed Jesus, keep me thine in 
time and in eternity. 

" To thee, my God, do I direct my prayer. What 
I want of others' help, supply with the more immediate 
assistance of thy Holy Spirit. Give me that measure of 
patience and constancy which my condition requires. 
My strength is scattered, my expectation from man de- 
feated. But be not thou far from me. Of whom 
may I seek for succour but of thee, God ? And if 
thou wilt be pleased, O Lord, to show some token now, 
to thy unworthy servant, for good, the work shall appear 
to all men to be only thine. If it be according to thy 
blessed will, arise, Lord, to deliver me — make no 
long tarrying, my God. Yet though thou killest, 
let me trust in thee. My blessed Saviour s merits !" 

So magnanimous a soul, so devoid of self, so unmoved 
by injury, so steadily religious, so compassionate to her 
fellow-creatures, so thoroughly devoted to God; to say 
nothing of the other, is rarely found among the female 

Mrs. Hall, who, we have seen, resembled her brother 
so remarkably in her person, and in the qualities of her 
mind, and between whom and him there was so much in- 
tense affection throughout life, was not separated from 
him in death. She was the last survivor of the original 
Wesley Family ; her father, mother, brothers, and sisters, 
having all died before her. 

When I first saw this excellent and interesting woman 
in 1783, I little thought that forty years after I should 
be led, in the course of providence, to rescue her cha-x 



racjer from detraction, and erect a monument to her 
memory. Among those who knew her, she had as 
many admirers as acquaintances. Her detractors have 
been few ; and those must be sought among the biogra- 
phers of her brothers ; some of whom have dealt, in 
more than her case, in matters too hard for them, and 
written of those things which they did not understand. 

As far as they did this ignorantly, none can be more 
ready than myself to plead their excuse. 


Charles "Wesley, A. M., student of Christ Church, 
Oxford, youngest son of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, rector 
of Epworth, and Susanna his wife, was born at Ep worth, 
Dec. 18, 1708, old style. In 1716, he was sent to 
Westminster school; in 1721, he was admitted king's 
scholar of St. Peter's College, Westminster; in 1726, 
he was elected to Christ Church College, Oxford ; was 
ordained deacon, in 1735, by Bishop Potter ; and priest, 
the next sabbath after, by Dr. Gibson, Bishop of 
London; and died in London. March 29, 1788, aged 
seventy-nine years and three months. 

He was a good man, a powerful preacher,* and the 
best Christian poet,t in reference to Hymnology, that 
has flourished in either ancient or modern times. The 

* The Rev. Henry Moore being asked one day, by T. Marriott, 
Esq., for the distinctive characteristics of Messrs. John and 
Charles Wesley, as preachers, replied : " John's preaching was all 
principles ; Charles's was all aphorisms." — Editor. 

t It is rather singular, that Dr. Southey should have omitted 
Charles Wesley in his list of the " later English Poets." That he 
was beneath notice cannot for a moment be supposed ; for speci- 


hymns used in the religious service of the Methodists 
were composed principally by him ; and such a collection 
exists not among any other people. Most collections 
among other sects of Christians are indebted to his com- 
positions for some of their principal excellencies. 

Mr. Charles Wesley left two sons, who are still living,* 
and a daughter, lately deceased, whose name I have 
several times mentioned in these memoirs. The present 
Mr. Charles Wesley is a celebrated musician, who was 
born in Bristol, in 1757- His musical genius was ob- 
served when he was not quite three years old, at which 
period, he surprised his father by playing a tune on the 
harpsichord, readily and in just time. Soon afterwards, 
he played several others. Whatever his mother sang, or 
whatever he heard in the streets, he could, without 
difficulty, make out upon this instrument. Almost from 
his birth, his mother used to quiet and amuse him with 
the harpsichord. When he played by himself, she used 
to tie him by his back-string to the chair, in order to 
prevent his falling. When he was four years old, his 
father took him to London, and Beard, who was the 
first musical man that heard him there, was so much 
pleased with his abilities, that he kindly offered his in- 
terest with Dr. Boyce, to get him admitted among the 
king's boys. This honour his father declined, as he then 
had no thoughts of bringing him up to the profession of 

mens are given of the compositions of men much his inferior in 
poetical talent : that he was out of date, is a no less improbable 
reason, for there are no less than fifty-six persons, whose works 
are noticed, who were born after him — and one of them born so 
late as 1771 ; and that his works should have been unknown to 
the Laureate, is the least probable reason of all. The question is, 
then, why this sin of omission 1 — Editok. 

* Charles is since dead. — Editor. 


miigic. Mr. Wesley soon afterwards returned with hin 
to Bristol, and, when he was about six years old, pu 
him under the tuition of Eooke. Mr. Rogers, at tha 
time the oldest organist in Bristol, was one of his firs 
friends. He would often set him on his knee, and mak< 
him play to him, declaring that he was more delightec 
in hearing him than himself. For some years, his studj 
and practice were almost entirely confined to the work' 
of Corelli, Scarlatti, and Handel ; and so rapid was hi 1 
progress, that at the age of twelve or thirteen years, i 
was thought that no person was able to excel him ii 
performing the compositions of these masters. 

About the year 1779, a domestic subscription concert 
for twelve nights in each season, was opened at Mr 
Wesley's house, in Chesterfield Street, Mary-le-bonne 
which continued for some years, and in which many o 
his own compositions were heard with pleasure. Mr 
John Wesley notices being at one of these concerts 
See his Journal, Thursday, Feb. 25, 1781 : " I spent ai 
agreeable hour at a concert," says he, " at my nephew's 
but I was a little out of my element among lords am 
ladies. I love plain music and plain company best." 
understand from a lady, who was present, that Mr. Johi 
Wesley went in full canonicals, and she in rich silk ant 
ruffles. The performance of Mr. Charles Wesley on th< 
organ, and particularly his extempore playing, was th< 
admiration and delight of all his auditors. 

Samuel Wesley, brother of the preceding, was bon 
1766, and also afforded a very early indication of musica 
genius. When only three years old, he could play oi 
the organ ; and when eight years old, attempted to com 
pose an oratorio. Some of the airs which he wrote fo 
the organ, were shown to Dr. Boyce, who remarket 
that they were among the most pleasing that he ha( 


heard. "This boy," he said, " writes by nature as true 
a bass, as I can do by rule and study." 

Mr. S. Wesley composed a High Mass for the chapel 
of Pope Pius VI. The pope thanked the composer for 
it in a Latin letter, written to his apostolic vicar, in 
London, in which, among other things, he says, " Gra- 
tum animum, quern ob acceptum munus in ipsum 
gerimus, paternis verbis nomine nostro explicabis, &c. 
His compositions are said to be in the highest degree 
masterly and grand, and his performances on the organ 
astonishing. To show that he possessed a poetic genius 
at a very early period, I shall present the reader with a 
copy of verses, which have never appeared in print, 
occasioned by his brother, Charles Wesley, being chosen 
to play a solo on a violin, before the corporation of Bris- 
tol ; and some business calling him from Bristol about 
the time, Samuel Wesley was chosen in his room ; but, 
in the meantime, Charles Wesley returned, and Samuel 
was set aside. 



To you, dear doctor, I appeal — 

To all the tuneful city ; 
Am I not used extremely ill 

By musical committee 1 

Why, 'tis enough to make one wild, 

They court, and then refuse me ; 
They advertise, and call me " child/' 

And like a child they use me. 


Excusing their contempt, they say, 
Which more inflames my passion, 

I am not grave enough to play 
Before the Corporation. 


To the sweet city-waits although 

I may not hold a candle, 
I question if their worships know 

The odds 'twixt me and Handel. 
A child of eight years old * I grant, 

Must be both light and giddy — 
The solidness of Burgan want, 

The steadiness of Liddie.f 
Yet quick, perhaps, as other folks, 

I can assign a reason, 
And keep my time as well as Hoiks, % 

And come as much in season. 

With Bristol organist, not yet 

I come in competition ; 
Yet let them know, I would be great — 
I do not want ambition. 
Spirit I do not want, or will, 

Upon a just occasion, 
To make the rash despisers feel 
My weight of indignation. 
The trodden worm will turn again, 

And shall not I resent it ? 
Who gave the sore affront in vain — 
They would with tears repent it. 
Still will I fret, and fume, and rage, 

And keener wax, and keener, 
Unless they prudently assuage 
My anger, with a Steyner. 

Sam. Wesley. — 1775. 

* S. Wesley was only eight years old when he wrote these verses. 
t Liddard. % Remarkable for bad time. 


A full-length portrait of him was engraved in London. 
He is standing at a table, with a pen in his hand, and 
music before him, as if composing ; and by the foot of 
the table lies a book of music, with the title, " Ruth, 
an Oratorio, by Samuel Wesley, aged eight years." — See 
Diet, of Musicians, fyc; Westm. Magazine. 

Mr. Charles Wesley's Life, in connexion with that of 
his brother John, has been written by Dr. Coke and Mr. 
Moore ; by Dr. Whitehead ; and lately, by Dr. Robert 
Southey, Poet Laureate. Of all these, Dr. Whitehead's 
account claims the preference, as formed from Mr. C. 
Wesley's own private diary. 


Kezziah, called in the family papers Kezzy and Kez, 
appears to have been the youngest child of the Wesley 
family.* The fact in her history, of most importance, is 
that which has been so largely considered in the history 
of her sister Martha Hall, to which I must refer the 

About 1729, Miss Kezzy became a teacher in a board- 
ing school in Lincoln, where she did not enjoy good 
health. Indeed she was much afflicted all through life, 
in consequence of which she was prevented from im 

* Dr. Clarke does not notice the time of Miss Kezziah Wesley's 
birth ; but her brother, Mr. John, in writing to Charles, observes : 
" My sister Kezzy was born about March, 1710, therefore you, 
Charles, could not be born later than December, 1708 ; — conse- 
quently, if you live till December, 1772, you will enter your 
sixty-fifth year." A note follows :— " Or, according to sister 
Martha's account, my sixty-second.— C. W." See Wesley's 
Works, vol. xii., p. 1 30, last edit. — Editor. 


proving a mind that seems to have been capable of high 
cultivation. She wrote a peculiarly neat and beautiful 
hand, even more so than that of her sister Emily. 

Two letters, written by this lady to her brother John, 
in 1729, give several curious particulars relative to her- 
self and family, with which none of my readers can 
possibly be displeased : — 

Jan. 26, 1729. 
" Dear Brother, 
" There is no occasion for your asking pardon for so 
small an omission as'not writing sooner, of one who has 
been faulty in an instance of much greater moment. 
Indeed, I was a little inclining to be of my sister s opi- 
nion, that it is not in the nature of man to value a 
woman, after he perceived she had any respect for him : 
if one could have been false, which was of so good a 
temper, and had so much religion as you, I should not 
have wondered at finding any so hereafter. Certainly, 
it is a very good way for any that enter into friendship 
to make this article in their agreement, that they will 
mutually reprove each other; by which means it will 
become such an avowed part of their friendship, that it 
can never be mistaken by the reproved for censorious- 
ness or unkindness. Not that there will be any occasion 
for me to practise this doctrine, but there will be enough 
for you. Therefore, I desire you will tell me of any 
thing that you think amiss in my conduct, and I will 
endeavour to reform. I am very glad to hear my brother 
Charles is so rich. Any good fortune that happens to 
my relations affords me great satisfaction. You need 
not be apprehensive of the news going further. Any 
thing you desire me not to speak of, you may be sure is 
safe. If I was inclined to enter into the holy estate of 


matrimony, I can't say but the man you are acquainted 
with might he worthy of love. 

But to a soul, whose marble form 
None of the melting passions warm, 

all his good qualities would appear lighter than vanity 
itself. It is my humble opinion I shall live the life of 
a nun, for which reason I would not give one single 
farthing to see him this minute. But if the young man 
was ever to have an inclination for any of our family, 
there is a certain lady at Epworth, who would make a 
very good wife, and seems not averse to marriage, that 
would be worth his acceptance ; besides, it would make 
her amends for a sort of baulk, which I fancy she has 
Kad lately. There is but one objection against it, which 
is, that it is twenty to one he will never see her. There 
is no danger of any one's being fit for death too soon, it 
being a sufficient work for a whole life. Certainly, I 
shall not think any pains too great to use that will be 
any help to me in so great a work ; and it would be less 
excusable for me, to be unprepared than others, because 
it always was and is my persuasion that I shall die 
young. I am at present fearful of death ; but I hope it 
will please God to make me willing and ready to die, 
before he calls me out of the world. 

None know what death is but the dead : 
Therefore we all by nature dying dread, 
As a strange doubtful path, we know not how to tread. 

There is no need of any apology for the serious part 
of your letter ; it was very agreeable ; but there was 
one passage in it which I disliked. If you meant it as 
a banter, it was not kind ; because nobody is worthy such 
a one, for not having a beautiful face or a fine shape ; it 


fteing only the gift of nature, and not to be acquired. 
If you intended it for a compliment, it was still unkind. 
Perhaps you might think it would please the vanity of 
our sex to be flattered. Know, then, that I am not yet 
vain enough to be pleased with flattery. I hope your 
goodness will pardon my freedom. I should not have 
told you what I disliked, only by way of prevention, 
that you might not write after the same manner for the 
future. You may certainly be a great help to me, in 
improving me in virtue, by giving me good advice, and 
telling me of my faults, when we meet again, or when 
you have reason to believe I am guilty of any. There 
cannot be a greater instance of friendship than praying 
for our friends ; nor can I be more agreeably employed, 
than in performing a duty which I think is incumbent 
on all friends. There has nothing happened since you 
left Lincoln that has had much effect on my mind, 
except Dick's quarrel with his wife. There is no need 
of giving you a particular account of it. I do not doubt 
but you have had one before now. As to my own 
affairs, there is nothing remarkable ; for want of money 
and clothes was what I was always used to. Indeed, it 
is rather worse to want here than at home. But there 
were other inconveniences, that weighed more with me 
than want of clothes. Those are but the trappings and 
the suits of woe. If I had my choice, I should like to 
stay here, suppose it were only for education. It would 
be no great matter, if my father was to find me in 
clothes for three or four years, since he pays nothing for 
my board. There is one comfort, which is, that I can't 
be blamed if I go home, because it is not possible for 
me to stay without necessaries. Suppose my sister 
would find me in clothes, which I have no reason to 
expect, nor do I believe it is in her power, if it was in 


her will, I could not be tolerably easy to be kept by 
any relation but my father or mother, while they live. 
I believe it is chiefly owing to pride, and a little to the 
shyness of my natural temper. It was always pain to 
me to ask for my own, and it would be much worse if I 
knew I was a burden to any of my relations. I shall 
endeavour to be as easy as possible, — 

Nor think it chance, nor murmur at the load ; 
For, know, what man calls fortune is from God. 

" I shall trouble you with the length of my letter, and 
therefore conclude, as I really am, 

" Your sincere friend till death, 

" Kezziah Wesley." 

"P.S. — Mr. Orry is dead, and Mr. John Pindar is 
married to Mrs. Medley. Poor soul ! I don't envy her 

" To Mr. John Wesley, 

Fellow of Line. Col., Oxon." 

" Lincoln, July 12, 1729. 
" Dear Brother, 
" I should not have writ so soon, but that you threat- 
ened to deprive me of the satisfaction of hearing from 
you any more, except I did. Not that I should have 
been hindered by multiplicity of business, or by the 
amusements of this place, but that I could not have 
imagined that it would be any pleasure to a person of 
sense, to hear from such an illiterate person, had I not 
had it under your own hand and seal. I have heard 
from my mother lately ; she was as well as usual ; and 
father and sisters are very well, except poor Sukey. She 


is very ill : people think she is going into a consumption. 


It would be well for her if she was " where the wicked 
cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.' 

"Miss Whitely likes Lincoln as well as might be 
expected, from one who has had her own will in every 
thing at home : she stays no longer than summer. She 
and I have parted beds ; it was her desire, occasioned 
by her cousin's coming. 

' Civility is worth the world.' 

Betty Dixon went home eight weeks ago. I was really 
surprised at her going, because she said her eyes were 
so tender she could not work ! And neither I, nor any 
one at the school, had ever perceived it before she told 
us ! 

" I am glad to hear you are so easy ; and I wish you 
could continue to be so, when you get on our side again : 
but that is a vain wish ! 

' To our new court sad thoughts do still repair, 
And round our whitened roof hangs hovering care.' 

" I beg you will tell brother Charles I cannot always 
excuse him from writing, though I do it now. I am 
very sorry he meets with so many misfortunes, and wish 
it was in my power to alleviate any of them. I should 
be very glad, if we could all follow his example of faith 
and patience ; but you know our sex have naturally 
weaker minds than yours : not that I bring this as any 
excuse for my particular case ; for I own I have been 
very defective in both faith and patience. I cannot say 
that those evils are imaginary that I meet with at home, 
if they may be called so. 

" My mother's ill health, which was often occasioned 
by her want of clothes, or convenient meat, and my own 
constant ill health these three years last past, weighed 
much more with me than anything else. 


■ " For who can undergo the force 

Of present ills, with fear of future woe 1" 

" I am sorry you have such an ill opinion of me, as 
to think I should have pressed upon you to write, if I 
had not desired to hear from you. Pray believe me 
next time. Nothing should have now made me write, 
but the fear of disobliging a person from whom I have 
received so many obligations. 

" I am much easier here than I was at home. If 
there be any who have such large souls, and are blessed 
with that composure and evenness of temper, that their 
multiplicity of affairs destroy not their concern for eter- 
nity, nor is their hinderance in the just discharge of their 
duty ; — if there be any such, then they are fit to be 
reckoned Christians. 

" When I have it in my choice to get my living by 
teaching school, or by any other way of business, then 
it will be seen what I shall choose. 

" I have told you my mind as freely as I have told 
sister Pat ; and have only time to return you thanks for 
the many favours you have conferred on 

"Your loving sister, 

"Kezziah Wesley." 

This letter corroborates the statement given by Mrs. 
Wesley to her brother, S. Annesley, at Surat, and shows 
that straitened circumstances constantly prevailed in 
that family ; and that this was most evidently the way 
in which God himself led them, as knowing that to 
them it was the safest, and, perhaps, the only one in 
which they might find and retain the truth. 

Her brother, Mr. John Wesley, wrote frequently to 


"her; and gave her directions both for the improvement 
of her mind, and her increase in true religion. 

To a letter of this description, in which he recommends 
a regular course of reading, mentions the proper books, 
&c, and the best manner of using them, she thus re- 
plies ; and painfully shows how much she was prevented 
by the res angmti domi from cultivating her mind as 
she wished. 

"Lincoln, July 3, 1731. 
" Dear Brother, 
" I should have writ sooner, had not business and in- 
disposition of body prevented me. Indeed, sister Pat's 
going to London shocked me a little, because it was 
unexpected ; and, perhaps, may have been the cause of 
my ill health for the last fortnight. It would not have 
had so great an effect upon my mind if I had known it 
before ; but it is over now — 

' The past as nothing we esteem ; 
And pain, like pleasure, is a dreai 

i dream.' 

" I should be glad to see Norris's Reflections on the 
Conduct of Human Understanding, and the book wrote 
by the female author; but I don't expect so great a 
satisfaction as the seeing either of them, except you 
should have the good fortune (for me) as to be at Ep- 
worth when I am there, which will be in the latter end 
of August. I shall stay a fortnight or three weeks, if 
no unforeseen accident prevent it. 

"I must not expect anything that will give me so 
much pleasure as the having your company so long; 
because a disappointment would make me very uneasy. 
Had your supposition been true, and one of your fine 



ladies had heard your conference, they would hare de- 
spised you as a mere ill-bred scholar, who could make 
no better use of such an oppportunity than preaching to 
young women for the improvement of their minds. 

" I am entirely of your opinion, that the pursuit of 
knowledge and virtue will most improve the mind : but 
how to pursue these is the question. Cut off, indeed, I 
am from all means which most men, and many women, 
have of attaining them. 

"I have Nelsons Method of Devotion, and The 
Whole Duty of Man, which is all my stock. As to 
history and poetry, I have not so much as one book. 

" I could like to read all the books you mention, if it 
were in my power to buy them; but as it is not at 
present, nor have any of my acquaintance I can borrow 
them of, I must make myself easy without them if I 
can ; but I had rather you had not told me of them, 
because it always occasions me some uneasiness that I 
have not books and opportunity to improve my mind. 
Now here I have time, — in a morning three or four 
hours, — but want of books : at home I had books, but 
no time, because constant illness made me incapable of 
study. I like Nelson's Method of Devotion ; the aiming 
every day at some particular virtue. I wish you would 
send me the questions you speak of relative to each 
virtue, and I would read them every day. Perhaps 
they may be of use to me in learning contentment, for 
I have been long endeavouring to practise it ; yet every 
temptation is apt to cause me to fall into the same error. 

" I should be glad if you would say a little to sister 
Emily on the same subject; for she is very likely to 
have a fit of sickness with grieving for the loss of Miss 
Emery, who went to Wickham last Saturday to live. I 
can't persuade her to the contrary, because I am so 


duch addicted to the same failing myself. Pray desire 
brother Charles to bring Prior, the second part, when he 
comes ; or send it, according to promise, for leaving off 
snuff till next May; or else I shall think myself at 
liberty to take as soon as I please. Pray let me know 
in your next letter when you design to come down, and 
whether brother Wesley and sister will come with you ? 
If you intend to walk, and brother Charles with you ? 

" I think it no great matter whether I say anything 
relatiflg to the people of Epworth, or no ; for you may 
be sure he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. 
I expect you will come by London ; pray, desire sister 
Pat to write by you : I have not heard from her since 
she went. You must not measure the length of your 
next letter by mine : I am ill, and can't write any more. 
" Your affectionate sister, 

" Kezziah Wesley." 

" Miss Kitty went to six o'clock prayers till she got 
the fever; and I never miss except sickness prevent me." 

Here we find a mind thirsting after knowledge, both 
divine and human; and struggling against many dis- 
advantages, among which comparative poverty and bad 
health were none of the least. Money was scarce a 
hundred years ago, and books not easy to be procured. 
Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for a present salvation 
was little known ; and growth in moral goodness, by a 
daily reference to and practice of some virtue, was a 
poor substitute for the application of that blood which 
cleanses from all unrighteousness, and a daily growth in 
grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I thank God, the trumpet does not now give an un- 
certain sound. 

We have already seen that Mr. Wesley Hall, after 


having engaged himself to Miss Martha Wesley, paid 
his addresses to Miss Kezzy ; and when on the point of 
leading her to the altar, was struck with remorse of con- 
science, and returned to Martha ; and that Miss Kezzy 
went to them on their marriage, and lived with them 
till her death, which took place March 9, 1741. 

She appears to have had a general state of ill health, 
and a long life could not be well expected. 

She was to have been married to a gentleman who 
paid his addresses to her when she resided with her 
sister Hall, at the Curacy, near Salisbury ; but death 
prevented the match. 

It appears that her brother Charles was present when 
she died ; of her closing scene he gives the following 
account in a letter to Mr. John Wesley : — 

"• Yesterday morning (March 9, 1741), sister Kezzy 
died in the Lord Jesus. He finished his work, and cut 
it short in mercy. Full of thankfulness, resignation, 
and love, — without pain or trouble, she commended her 
spirit into the hands of Jesus, and fell asleep." 




How powerful is a religious education ; and how true 
the saying, " Train up a child in the way he should go ; 
and when he is old, he will not depart from it 1" 

All this family were brought up in the fear of God ; 
and that fear continued with them through life. 

We have in the preceding history records of the last 
hours of most of 'them, and all those died happy in God, 
Hetty appears to have been the only one who was not 
decidedly religious. Brought up from comparative in- 
fancy at a distance from her parents, and indulged by a 
fond uncle, she was for a time gay and giddy, but never 

However, the seed of life which was sown in her 
heart vegetated surely, though slowly. Unparalleled 
afflictions became the means of urging her to seek her 
happiness in God. She sought, found, and lived several 
years in the possession of the divine favour, and died in 
the assurance of faith. 

Such a family I have never read of, heard of, or 
known ; nor, since the days of Abraham and Sarah, and 
Joseph and Mary of Nazareth, has there ever been a 
family to which the human race has been more in- 




In the following Poem the passages in italics are in the " printed copy" re- 
ferred to by Dr. Clarke. Those which are inclosed between brackets [ ] are 
wanting in that copy, but are found in the MS. 

[Far from the sun and regions blessed and mild, 
Almost to utmost Thul6 here exiled, 
Forgetting and forgotten long I lay, 
Nor once waked up, nor had one thought of day : 
As Greenland plants, which neither breathe nor grow 
When pressed beneath eternal hills of snow ; 
As frozen insects to some crevice fly 
From winter's rage, and die, or seem to die ; 
Yet when the sun returns, they all revive, 
And taste his genial rays, and wonder how they live : 
Such was the change, when Fame and Conquest joined, 
And garlands for the hero's temples twined. 
On Rhetian Alps the vocal goddess stood, 
And ruin saw beneath, and seas of blood. 
She saw the English lion fast advance, 
And tear the lyses from the arms of France. 
Thrice did she " Marlborough and Conquest" sound, 
And spread the news through all her endless round ; 
To Asian fields by sanguine Ister borne, 
And regions bordering on the rising morn. 
For Gallic fields more slowly moved the Rh6ne, 
And filled them with an universal groan. 
The joyful Rhine, a captive now no more, 
Urged on its waves to greet the Belgic shore. 
Fair Thames and Medway hear, nor would they stay, 
But to Augusta's walls with shouts the news convey. 
Nor my loved Trent unmoved ; though calm before, 
She with a double eagre sweeps the shore ; 
They only echo to the voice of Fame, 
" Conquest and Marlborough " they all proclaim.] 

[Goddess, resume thy long-neglected lyre, 
Once more the vocal strings with soul inspire ; 
The hero sing, and of his fame partake, 
While his immortal deeds thy song immortal make !] 
The Eternal, who the fates of empires weighs, 
.4nd with impartial eye the world surveys, 

* See vol. i., p. 221. 


Beheld the Gallic power so haughty grown, 

It dared rebel and struggle with his own, 

[Snatch at his thunder, and affect his throne. 

They e'en transcend great Nature's steadfast mound, 

Reverse her laws, and good and ill confound. 

Force is their right ; their oaths their sacred word, 

Short-lived convenience ; and their god, their sword. 

Nor this the eternal sun who shines above, 

Whose essence truth, whose beauteous rays are love ; 

Who will not force the mind, but gently draws, 

And whose wise goodness to his power gives laws ;] 

He saw the monster swell to vast excess, 

Great nature's landmarks, and her own, transgress : 

One wing beyond the cloudy Alps was stretched, 

O'er Pyrennean rocks her other reached : 

The volumes of her vast enormous train, 

To worlds unknown beyond the Atlantic main 

The German eagle next, she wings t' invade, 

While nations shake beneath her deadly shade ; 

In vain the royal bird his thunder bears, 

And oft, though struck to earth, himself he rears ; 

[Cuffed and disabled oft, attempts to rise, 

And reassume his empire in the skies ;] 

Wounded and faint, maintains a feeble fight 

With equal valour, but inferior might. 

The dragon's teeth fierce new-born armies yield, 

An iron harvest round the moistened field ; 

Intestine foes the sacred empire tear, 

And in her bowels urge unnatural war. 

[A prosperous traitor, with invaders joined, 

To ruin what barbarians spared designed : 

Germany is no more ; the Gauls advance 

O'er captive Ister's streams, and all is France. 

Hardly their famed metropolis appeared, 

And something now beyond the Turks they feared. 

Like some strong town whose walls the foe had gained 

The narrow citadel alone remained, 

Hi-guarded, half deserted, and distressed, 

A panic terror seizing every breast.] 

[Liguria passed, again the furious Gaul 
Might Rome have sacked, and pressed the capitol. 
But Rome submits, nor boasts her mighty deeds, 
Infallible — while Gallic power succeeds. 
Yet still more base, perfidious aid she lends, 
And with mean arts betrays her ancient friends ; 
Retreating slow with rage the floods they crossed ; 
What they by valour gained, by treason lost.] 

[The while, a joy to madness near allied 
Lutetia's temples rends, and swells her pride ; 


The Pagan's sanguine rites reproach no more, 
Or Scythian altars stained with human gore, 
When misnamed Christians dare affront the skies, 
And myriads after myriads sacrifice ; 
Rank in their squadrons every guiltless star, 
And make them parties in the impious war, 
Yet think no grateful incense can aspire, 
Like smoke from towns that shine with hostile fire. 
Couriers on breathless couriers daily sent, 
Fresh laurels bring, and fame itself prevent.] 
Te Deums now are vulgar anthems grown, 
From matins and from vespers hardly known. 
Those decent thanks they oft to heaven renew, 
But to their monarch think far more is due. 
[New blasphemies, new adorations paid, 
They kiss his feet, and still implore his aid.] 
Let Louis shine, they laugh at those above ; 
As father Nile alone is Egypt's Jove. 
[Elated even beyond their nation's pride, 
Themselves as well as him they deified.] 
See where he like the Samian tyrant reigns, 
And Fortune by his chariot leads in chains. 
The bounds of human happiness surpassed, 
To the third heir he sees his ill-got conquests last. 

Such was the face of things — such Europe's state, 
When thus the sovereign Arbiter of fate : — 
' ' Thus far have we the oppressor's fall delayed 
" But here shall his insulting waves be stayed. 
' ; Worthy our weightiest thunder now he grows ; 
" And now 'tis worthy Heaven to interpose : 
" This moment's, by th' unchangeable decree, 
" The utmost verge of prosp'rous tyranny." 
Then of the powers which near his throne attend, 
And on the wond'rous golden chain depend, 
He singles these : first Prudence, heavenly fair, 
Her looks unclouded, yet with thoughtful air. 
The next was Fortitude ; what sprightly grace 
And promises of conquest in her face ! 
Celerity was in commission joined, 
Whose wings outfly the lightning and the wind. 
Then Secrecy, with modest glory crowned, 
And robed with awful clouds, which heaven's bright throne 

" Go to the man, by us and our loved queen designed 
" To humble Gallic power, and Europe's chains unbind : 
" Go, and with speed our final orders bear, 
" His constant guardians you, and partners of the war." 
[By intuition they his name discerned ; 
Yet unpronounced, lest by some traitor learned, 


Crowding disguised among the sons of day, 

He should th' important truths to hell's allies convey.] 

They bowed ; and swerving down the deep descent, 
Borne on a beauteous lunar rainbow went, 
And, Marlborough ! alighted at thy tent ; 
As on Mosella's streams thy squadrons lay, 
Waiting for thee and the returning day. 
For now the silent noon of night was o'er, 
And Phoebus hastened to his eastern shore. 
Thoughtful they found the chief, his head reclined, 
The fate of Europe labouring in his mind. 
His friendly guards, unseen, assistance brought, 
Mould the great scheme, and polish every thought ; 
Till ripened with new vigour in his eyes, 
And, waked from deep concern, " It must be thus," he cries 
" This saves our friends, and breaks th' united powers 
" Of France and hell combined, if heaven be ours." 
Then calls to horse ; his willing troops obey ; 
Speed marched before, and levelled all the way ; 
While Secrecy a cloud around them drew, 
Too thick for subtle spies' or traitors' view ; 
Such that which round God's favourite armies spread, 
And safe through sandy worlds and trackless deserts led. 
Dazzled at first, the foes before him run, 
Like birds obscene, that cannot bear the sun : 
O'er Ister's streams their leader takes his flight, 
And shuns, immersed in earth, the conscious light ; 
There, meditating mischief, doomed to wait 
Till France awhile prolongs, and shares his fate. 
Once more from earth th' imperial Eagle springs, 
And prunes his bolts, and shakes his moulted wings : 
Though slow with wounds, his fate is pleased to try, 
And bravely bid for death or victory 
Nor need the heavenly couriers, sent to guide 
The British chief, unguarded leave his side ; 
The German heroes need not press to join 
And share the glory of the brave design. 
[As when a matron by fierce ruffians found 
Unguarded and alone is seized and bound ; 
If heaven to her unhoped assistance send 
Some generous warrior, or some powerful friend ; 
They need not long her valiant sons persuade 
('Tis nature's kindly task) to join their aid ; 
They on the wings of love and duty fly, 
Resolved to save her, or resolved to die.] 
Who first, who next, shall of these worthies claim 
A deathless memory in the rolls of Fame 1 
Eugene the first such faith, such valour shown, 
Adopted Germany's and all her own : 


Whose arms too well the Gallic ensigns know 
Oft met by Mincius, and the royal Po, 
And rolled in blood : nor Baden's sword in vain 
On misbelievers drawn, he has his thousands slain. 
Next him undaunted Hesse ; how young, how brave! 
A German all, he hates the name of slave ; 
Triumphant France his arms have taught to yield, 
And trailed their conquering standards from the field. 
What future trophies shall our joys renew, 
What towering citadels shall he subdue ! 

More might I sing, in Time's fair leaves enrolled, 
How prodigal of life, how largely souled ! 
Who, when the rallied foe with cautious fear 
On Danube's banks strove to secure their rear ; 
When Art and Nature in their camp unite 
Forced the strong pass, and put 'em both to flight : 
Earnest of greater sums which Fate will pay, 
A glorious morning to a brighter day. 

See where the French new Hydra armies send 
At once to ruin and assist their friend : 
Till when, too weak, he not disdains to try 
Base falsehood and unprincely treachery, — 
Virtues he copied from his great ally : 
Pretending treaty, would our faith abuse, 
And where he can't resist our arms, amuse. 
But Prudence, calling wise Distrust to aid, 
To the confederate chief the fraud displayed . 
So may they join in happy hour, said he, 
One fight will yield a double victory. 
Devotion, which too oft a stranger's been 
In camps, nor e'en in temples always seen, 
Drawn by his great example and desire, 
Returns, and does his vigorous troops inspire 
With a new warmth, and more than martial fire. 
[When Heaven they conquer, how can man withstand, 
Or mortal strength resist the Almighty's hand ?] 
Secure of fate, they on success rely, 
Equal with them 'tis now to sleep or die. 
They with their strong cherubic guards unite, 
And, like the Thundering Legion, pray and fight ; 
For now the long-expected morn arose, 
Which showed the rugged front of their embattled foes. 
Not eager lovers with more transport see 
Long absent friends, than these their enemy. 
Though all they wished, the numbers and the ground, 
Was theirs, and hills, and woods, and shades profound ; 
Without such odds we had not fought 'em fair, 
Deep trenches here, and towering ramparts there : 



A wall of cannons, which in fire and smoke 

Their master's last and only reason spoke. 

Their flank the Danube fatally secures, 

Whose stream a foreign lord ill pleased endures ; 

[But like the towns whose captive walls he laves, 

Which blush to see their towers reflected from his waves, 

The approaching happy moment waits with pain, 

When Fate and Marlborough shall break his chain.] 

Nor this sufficed : — In front a deep morass, 

Denying all that wanted wings to pass ; 

But soon our general's conduct and his care 

Strong flying bridges threw, and marched in air. 

When from the bog's abyss a phantom lose, 
And did his vast tremendous form disclose, 
His armour burnished brass : a shield he wore 
Of polished steel, with lyses powdered o'er, 
Whose drooping heads surcharged with human gore. 
Disdainful was his air, as when he fell ; 
He was no vulgar potentate in hell. 

" Shall we look on, and no assistance lend 
Our darling nation, and our bravest friend ? 
Must then a woman crush our rising state 1 
O Envy ! O Malignity of fate ! 
Can Bourbon fall like feeble Austria 1 Can 
A God confessed submit to less than man 1 — 
Ye Powers ! do two Elizas breathe in Anne 1 
Shall partial heaven her arms and counsels guide, 
And for her general such a guard provide 1 
(He saw the shining warriors by his side.) 
Must Nature's self within his ranks take pay, 
While pressing on the great decisive day, 
Big with such vast events ?• Bold mortal, stay ! 
Though water, earth, and air I must resign, 
I'll try if all the elements be thine, 
Turenne and Schomberg ! for a third prepare 
Your silent shades ; this moment sees him there ! " 
He said, then to a murdering cannon pressed, 
Traversed the piece, and points it at his breast ; 
One of his train gives fire, the bullet takes its flight, 
And drew behind a trail of deadly light : 
But glorious Michael, who attends unseen, 
Steps in and claps his sevenfold targe between : 
'Twas he, for the red cross adorned his breast, 
And the Old Dragon's spoils, his dreadful crest. 
Dropped short the fiery messenger of death, 
As with his journey tired and out of breath. 
The fiend blasphemed his hopeful project crossed, 
And thrice renounced what long before he'd lost : 


He thence amid the thickest ranks retires, 
And all with his own desperate rage inspires 
'Twas well his caitiff body was but air, 
Or Marlborough had found and seized him there, 
Who, all things now prepared to strike the blow, 
Thus to his English -.—Soldiers ! here's the foe ! 
Like air, like fire, like English swift they ran, 
With well-known shouts the bloody toil began. 
Against a stream of flame their breasts oppose, 
And turn the impetuous tide against their foes. 
Now fight, Philistines, or your Dagon's gone, — 
The sacred ark prevails, and you're undone. 
They did as Louis were himself in sight ; 
As who for life, and more for empire fight, 
Forget themselves ; and charge and charge again, 
Nor only in their onset more than men ; 
Rallied and rallied still, though bored and broke, 
And death with death repaid, and stroke with stroke. 

And did we shrink ? Did English troops give way 1 
Say ye who met them, bold, though conquered, say ? 
Pressed by your numbers, did we seem to fly, 
Or halt 1 Did any leave their ranks to die ? 
How decently they fell, unknowing how to yield, 
And with what manly bodies spread the field ! 

What Warrior's there, with death encompassed round 
It should be Cutts, but he's without a wound 
So many a scar from former fields he wore, 
He now escapes, nor was there room for more ! 
Thus stars which in the galaxy combine 
With numerous beams, yet undistinguished shine. 
Thee, Ingoldsby ! new trophies still adorn, 
And colours from the Gallic centre torn. 
What strength could Mordant's lively force withstand ? 
What lightning in his eye ! What thunder in his hand ! 
Conscious of his high birth, great Orkney stood, 
Walled with the slain, and moated round with blood. 
noble North ! how dearly didst thou sell 
That mighty hand, which not inglorious fell ! 
Falling, it grasps thy sword ; it threatens still , 
Trembling in death, and scarce forbears to kill. 
Thus were our English nobles wont to charge, 
Thus did our empire and their fame enlarge ; 
Such high achievements graced their ponderous shields, 
Such laurels did they reap in sanguined fields. 
Look down, ye blessed ! O Courcy, Talbot, Vere, 
Look down, and know your genuine offspring here. 
Glory's too mean a prize, 'tis false, though bright : 
But these for liberty and Europe fight. " 


Tis fairly thrown, the gains will quit the cost ; 
This evening sees a world preserved or lost. 

At distance labouring round great Eugene see, 
And with him the remains of Germany. 
[What life, what spirit, what superior air ! 
How can such troops be beat when Eugene's there ?] 
Nor were they unemployed ; nor would the foe, 
Led by Bavaria, yield without a blow. 
So a fell wolf that long unchecked has prowled, 
And scoured the plains, and stormed the trembling fold 
If him the shepherds to his covert track, 
And aided by their faithful dogs attack ; 
So grins oblique, fierce, though encompassed round ; 
Still fights, and none escapes without a wound. 
Thrice charged the prince, undaunted, thrice repelled. 
And victory the tottering balance held. 

Of troops, brigades, and wings, the rest take care, 
But Marlborough alone is everywhere ; 
As prudence bids, the various battle views ; 
Like nature, what is lost by time and death renews ; 
Till Courage calls, her well-known voice he hears, 
Erect and greater than himself appears. 
With him the English cavalry advance, 
And charge and mingle with the flower of France. 
(Not clouds, with thunder armed; more rudely clash, 
Or beamy lightnings brighter horror flash . ) 
They feel the odds, their ancient lords they try, 
Beneath superior valour bend and fly, 
And now had little else to do but die. 
Churchill, who like his brother looked and fought, 
One army slew, another captive brought : 
[While by Lord Hesse, the Belgic squadrons led, 
Like English charged ; the French admired and fled.] 
And now 'tis done ; the mighty struggle's past ; 
The braver, juster side prevails at last. 
France may be beat ; her iron reign is o'er, 
The scourge and terror of the world's no more. 
There, Louis ! all thy blasted laurels lie ; 
And there, thy universal monarchy ! 
The hoary warriors boast their spoils in vain : 
Th' Invincibles are broke ; th' immortal squadron's slain 
Unfortunately brave ! no longer blame 
Or rob each other of your dear-bought fame ! 
Compose your strife. What Gallic arms could do, 
By English pressed, was dared and done by you. 
Did you not breast to breast their troops oppose ? 
Did you not long sustain th' unequal foes ? 


Rush on their swords, your certain fate despise, 
Devoted, your great Moloch's sacrifice ? 
Will, then, his orders ne'er admit debate, 
And must you conquer, even in spite of fate ? 
Your nation's genius never soared so high : 
You can't like English fight, or Romans die. 

Let chronicles to future worlds recite 
The carnage and the relics of the fight ; 
What thousands plunge in death their lives to save 
And sought glad refuge underneath the wave ; 
Sinking, a ghastly look behind them threw, 
Lest to the bottom we should them pursue ; 
Though their more valiant leader dared survive, 
And to adorn our triumphs deign to live. 
What armies we of generals led away ! 
What lumber-captains, and how large a prey i 
[Troops of noblesse, battoons, and mangled peers ! 
How many a house in France that mourning wears ! ] 
Tho' kind gazettes repair the loss with ease, 
And raise new paper-squadrons as they please. 

But why so slow ? Why does not Louis stamp, 
Or with a nod recruit Bavaria's camp ? 
Must he for nature's tardy methods wait ? 
Th' immortals in an instant can create : 
[Why, then, delay his succours 'till the spring, 
Since greater honour to his power 'twould bring, 
To make an army than to make a king. 
Or did he leave his friend to fall so low, 
The greater power in his relief to show T] 
Nor did his friend the shadow court in vain. 
See him affected regal honours gain, 
E'en in his flight, for thus did France ordain. 
'Till the next vacancy preferment brings, 
And ranks him in the college of his kings. 

Let others file the triumphs that remain, 
We glean some dukes, and a few towns we gain, 
The annual work of but one large campaign. 
We came, we conquered, ev'n before we saw 
Augsburg and Ulm, but fought for thee, Landau J 

And now for peace should Europe humbly sue, 
And generous France the treaty deign renew ; 
Should she the glory of her arms deny, 
And condescend to part with Germany, 
Her righteous cause to Rome's blest umpire leave, 
Who cannot be deceived nor can deceive ; 

398 APPENDIX 1. 

[The Infallible at Rome, the sacred chair, 

Where faith can hardly with her own compare : — J 

What happy halcyon days must needs ensue 

How just, how firm th' alliance, and how true ! 

[Next to have ne'er begun the war, how blessed 

Our land of peace, on such fair terms possessed !] 

Thus soon may Louis move, and thus may those 

Who scarce disguised, declare for Europe's foes ; 

And had their counsels been pursued before, 

Our hero ne'er had left Our English shore, 

The mighty work had still been uncomplete, 

And heaven in vain had formed him wise and great. 

We merit chains if France again we trust, 

Who will not, cannot, to his oaths be just. 

His frowns are manly, but his smiles are base : 

These fairly kill ; those stab with an embrace. 

Bavaria, Cologne, greater names can say 

How dearly for her friendship fond to pay, 

May those be blessed with such a strong ally, 

Who start at swords, and would by lingering poisons die 

Let war, entailed on future lustres, come, 

And, worse than war protracted, feuds at home ; 

So our loud crimes may not so high ascend, 

As to pull down the curse of having France our friend ! 

The die is cast, and fortune courts the brave ; 

No medium's left, — he must be lord or slave. 

Too long, illustrious chief! have we delayed 
The praise, the triumphs, which can ne'er be paid; 
We lent thee to th' allies, but never gave : 
Hast thou another Germany to save 1 

At length he comes, and leaves the Belgian shore ; 
What myriads stretch to meet him half seas o'er ; 
While his loved name their hearts and lips employs, 
Prevents their eyes, and antedates their joys. 
Some praise his equal conduct in the state, 
In council calm, unmoved by warm debate, 
Great in the court, yet him the country bless 
Great in the camp,— how rare a happiness ! 
Him his glad native soil> him foreign kings caresst 
Above a narrow faction's mean design, 
True as the sun to his meridian line. 
Victorious both in counsel and in war, 
Nothing's denied where he's ambassador ; 
Some his dexterity for business made, 
His application these, and timely aid ; 
Some his humanity ; how easy of access, 
How prone to save, and pity, and redress ! 
How formed to help, how made to please and bless ! 


While others choose his laurels fetched from far, 

Fight o'er his battles, and renew the war. 

Like the Great Spirit, that moves this varied whole, 

Is Marlborough his numerous armies' soul. 

'Tis he informs each part, his looks inspire 

With vigorous wisdom and with tempered fire* 

Nothing he leaves to chance's blind pretence, 

But all is prudence, all is providence. 

Firm and intrepid to the last degree, 

Alike from slowness and from rashness free : 

The French and German virtues he unites, 

Like one consults, and like the other fights. 

Above mean arts of spinning long campaigns, 

Where both may lose, but neither party gains ; 

'Twas not for this his English marched so far, — ■ 

He came to end, and not to make a war. 

The torrent of his conquests flows so fast, 

Like waves, the first is buried in the last ; 

When Liege the deluge of his arms subdued, 

Bavaria might -his gathering fate have viewed. 

One summer's isthmus only did repress 
The two vast rival seas of his success. 
While Fate took time to breathe that instant o'er, 
The waters rend away the narrow shore ; 
Both oceans meet, new hills on hills are tossed, 
And mingling waves in friendly waves are lost. 
The Macedonian youth, whose arms subdued 
Soft Persia, and the wild Hydaspes viewed, 
Beyond a mortal lineage strove to rise, 
And claimed ambitious kindred with the skies ; 
But had his phalanx won such fame as ours, 
And routed Bourbon's and Bavaria's powers, 
For Hammon's son too great, he'd soared above, 
And filled the car of Mars, or throne of Jove. 
Our conqueror saves more than the Greek o'erran ; 
Yet bows to heaven, and owns himself a man 5 
Forbids those altars we attempt to raise, 
At once surmounts both vanity and praise ! 

But emperors alike and poets err, 
Who strive to reach his finished character : 
The name of Marlborough such worth proclaims, 
Hero and prince to that are vulgar names : 
His sovereign's smiles, and heaven's, alone can pay 
What Europe owes him for so great a day. 

And now her awful head Britannia rears 
On her own cliffs, an azure robe she wears, 
Ihe sword and long-contested trident bears ; 


While her white rocks, the turrets of her court, 

Can scarce th' impatient gazer's weight support ; 

While thither all her subjects turn their eyes, 

As Persians when their god prepares to rise ; 

And thousands after thousands crowding ran. 

Pleased with the concourse, thus the nymph began : — 

" If ever joy admitted of excess, 

It must be now, for mine is hardly less ; 

Already the loved man you wait *s in sight. 

The distant skies are fringed with radiant light ; 

The waves can scarce support the weight he brings, 

As proud as when they brought your captured kings : 

Yet ere once more his native sands are pressed, 

And earth with his triumphant footsteps blessed, 

With care a mother's kind advice attend : 

'Tis Britain speaks, a mother and a friend. 

So may you brighter trophies yet obtain, 

Nor heaven on favoured Albion smile in vain. 

Enough, my sons ! enough of noise and strife, 

And stern debate, the deadliest plagues of life. 

Now learn to love ; your arrows close unite, 

Unbroke and firm as your own ranks in fight. 

My senates will, I know they will, combine 

To frustrate tottering France's last design : 

If those agree, she doubly must despair ; 

If not, we lose at home our gains in war. 

Contend they may, and warmly will debate, 

Which most shall guard, and most adorn the state. 

[Or first my wishes and their own prevent, 

In thanks for those high blessings heaven has sent.] 

Their only strife, their only grand contest, 

Which loves their sovereign and their country best. 

How weighty falls the curse on those whose pride 

Or interest would those sacred names divide ! 

Why should they clash who equal good intend, 

Or differ in their method more than end ! 

Preserve, my sons, those barriers heaven has made, 

Let none my ancient landmarks dare invade ! 

Unenvious to yourselves your bliss possess 

And be for once content with happiness ! 

Look round the spacious globe, and find a spot, 

Like that which bounteous heaven has made your lot. 

War, fire, and rapine scour all Europe's plains ; 

Here, throned in blood, a moody tyrant reigns ; 

Who, when his wasted treasure wants supplies, 

Preaches against the sin of avarice. 

Weak councils and contending interests there, 

With much of pain, expense, intrigue, and care, 

Treasure eternal seeds of strife and war : 

[Here a young Phaeton drives furious on, 

With his high seat and fortune giddier grown : 



His hands would Jove's own ponderous bolts retain, 

That grasp th' unwieldy forces of the main : 

Rashfess pursues what valour well began, 

He'd kings unmake, and make, ere he's himself a man.] 

While sacred Anna in my Albion reigns, 

Whose equal hand my sword and heaven's sustains ; 

[Impartial she, how fondly fabled blind, 

Sent to redress the wrongs of all mankind.] 

See her the bright capacious balance hold, 

Like that which shines above, and flames with heavenly gold. 

In vain the Gaul his ancient arts has shown, 

And in the scale his ponderous sword has thrown ; 

Her tempered blade to th' adverse scale applied, 

His mounts in air, and feels the juster side : 

Nor will she sheathe it, to the hilt imbrued 

And drunk with hostile blood, till France and vice subdued ; 

Yet calm, as those above, if aught they know 

Aught that concerns their militant friends below, 

When tyrants here subdued, or monsters slain, 

A sober joy shoots round th' etherial plain. 

Never elate with good, with ills depressed, 

Nor storms nor sun disturb her halcyon breast. 

How firmly wise ! how great her easy state ! 

What goodness does majestic power rebate. 

Strong as Hyperion shoots his golden light ; 

Yet mild her rays as Cynthia's, and as bright. 

Her soul, like the superior orbs serene, 

Which know not what a cloud or tempest mean ; 

Though pointed flames are by their influence hurled, 

And their unerring thunders awe the subject world. 

[If distant regions taste her friendly care, 

How blessed, who her maternal goodness share.] 

Her arms beyond Herculean columns known, 

And ancient Calpe's walls her empire own : 

Resound the Lybean and the Celtic shore 

Her conquering sailors' shout, her cannons' dreadful roar ! 

If distant regions taste her friendly care, 

How blest who her maternal goodness share ! 

While peace and justice she at home maintains, 

And in her subjects' hearts unrivalled reigns. 

Whom has she not obliged 1 How wretched those 

Who are their own, and hers, and virtue's foes ! 

Eliza might have learnt from her to please ; 

Herself she taxes for her people's ease : 

What altars by her generous hand supplied, 

Whose flames have dimly rolled, whose fires had died, 

Shall, shine with incense which her bounty threw, 

And constant intercourse with heaven renew 1 

From thence a large return of blessings gain : 

Nor have her grateful offerings blazed in vain. 


The vested priests the cheerful flame surround, 
Deserted domes are filled and altars crowned. 
For her their vows, for her their victims bleed ; 
Lono-, long may she herself, herself succeed ! 
Long, ere from us and her loved prince she part ! 
Tisless to share a crown than share her heart." 
She said ; and now the smiling surges bore 
Her best loved son safe to her oozy shore, 
Who from the expecting crowd with speed withdrew, 
Arid spurned the triumphs which his steps pursue. 
[But sooner may we count th' unnumbered sands 
Than half the crowd of lifted eyes and hands. 
The mingled smiles with floods of joyous tears ; 
The prayers, the shouts, when Marlborough appears.] 
Britannia gazed intemperate on the hero's face ; 
He saw and bowed, and ran to her embrace : 
But what they said, a mortal strives in vain, 
'Tis past the powers of numbers to explain. 
Such was the moving scene, if not the same, 
When love and his illustrious consort came, 
Th' unrivalled sharer of his heart and fame ! 
Blow soft, ye gentle winds ! let storms retire ! 
Ye gentle winds, ambrosial sweets respire, 
Soft as chaste lovers' sighs ! let nature bring 
Th' inverted year, and raise a second spring ! 
On foreign shores let war and winter rest, 
Our happy isle of Marlborough possessed, 
With peace and with eternal verdure blessed ! 



The (supposed)t Occasion. — Part of a (ne,w)\ Dialogue 
between Plato and Eupolis ; the rest not extant. 

EuroLis.— But, Sir, is it not a little hard that you should 
banish all our fraternity from your new commonwealth ? % 
As for my own part, every body knows that I am but one 
of the minorum gentium. But what hurt has father Homer 
done, that you should dismiss him among the rest, though 
he has received the veneration of all ages : and Salamis was 
adjudged to us by the Spartans, on the authority of two of 
his verses ? || And you know it was in our own times that 

* See vol. i., p. 226. 

t These words are written above the lines in the original, and at 
a different time, but in Mr. S. Wesley's hand. 

X Your new commonwealth. — This refers to a treatise written by 
Plato, divided into ten books, and called IloXiTEia, a republic or 
commonwealth; in the third and tenth books of which he shows 
that poets pervert truth, cannot teach what may render the people 
happy, and tell intolerable tales of the gods. 

|j Two of his verses. — The two verses referred to here are the 
following : — 

Aiag d' tic 2a\a/uvo£ aytv SvoKctiOiEica. vrjag, 
Srjjffe d' aywv, iv A3tr}vaio)v toTavTO tyakayytg. 

Iliad, lib. ii. ver. 557. 

With these appear the Salaminian bands 

(Whom the gigantic Telamon commands) : 

In twelve black ships to Troy they steer their course, 

And with the great Athenians join their force. 

Strabo, lib. ix.p. 394, relates that, the Megarians having claimed 
Salamis as anciently a part of their possessions, the Athenians 
quoted the above lines to show that in the time of Homer the island 
belonged to Athens, and in consequence Salamis was adjudged to 
the Athenians. 


many of our citizens saved their lives, and met with civil 
treatment in Sicily, after our unfortunate expedition and 
defeat under Nicias, by repeating- some verses of Euri- 

Plato. — Much may be done to save one's life. I doubt 
not that I should have done the same, though only to have 
regained my liberty when Dionysius sold me for a slave.t 
But those are only occasional accidents, and exempt cases, 
which are nothing to the first settling of a state, when it 
is in one's own power to mould it as one pleases. As for 
Homer, to be plain, the better poet, the more danger ; and 
I agree in this with Aristotle, that the blind old gentleman 
certainly lies with the best grace in the world.J But a lie 
handsomely told, debauches the taste and morals of a 
people, and fires them into imitation. Besides, his tales 
of the gods are intolerable, and derogate to the highest 
degree from the dignity of the divine nature. 

Eupolis. — Not to enter at present into the merits of that 
case, do you really think, Sir, that these faults are insepa- 
rable from poetry ; and that the praises of the One Supreme 

* Defeat under Nicias. — This was at Syracuse, where, after 
doing prodigies of valour, the Athenian army and navy were totally 
destroyed ; most were slain in battle, and the generals and prisoners 
put to cruel deaths. Diodorus Siculus says, some were saved who 
understood literature and arts ; and perhaps, many of them were 
those who, from repeating some of the verses of Euripides, were 
permitted to live. 

t Dionysius sold me for a slave. — Plato visited Sicily in the for- 
tieth year of his age, and having got an interview with Dionysius 
the Tyrant, discoursed with him on the security and happiness of 
virtue, and the miseries attending injustice and oppression. The 
tyrant, perceiving that the philosopher's discourse was levelled 
against the vices and cruelties of his reign, dismissed him from 
his presence with great displeasure, and formed a design against 
his life. By the assistance of Dion, the king's brother-in-law, one 
of Plato's pupils, he was got on board of the vessel that brought 
over Pollis, a delegate from Sparta, who was then returning into 
Greece. Dionysius being informed of this, got a promise from 
Pollis, that he would either take away the philosopher's life, or on 
the passage sell him for a slave. Pollis accordingly sold him in 
the island of Egina for twenty mina, equal to 64L lis. 8d. : but 
he was soon redeemed by Anicerres, an Athenian philosopher, who 
paid for his ransom thirty mina, or 84Z. 10s. sterling. 

X The words of Aristotle are, iptvdrj Xsyeiv wg Str, to lie becom- 
ingly, to make falsity palatable— to lie so as to bear the resemblance 
of truth - to lie so as to deceive and please at the same time. 


may not be sung without any intermixture of them ; 
allowing us only the common benefit of metaphor, and 
other figures, which you do not blame even in the orators ? 

Plato. — An ill habit is hard to break : and I must own I 
hardly ever saw any thing of that nature ; and should be 
glad to see you or any other attempt, and succeed in it : on 
which condition I would willingly exempt you from the 
fate of your brother poets. 

Eupolis. — I am far from pretending to be a standard : 
how I shall succeed in it I do not know, but am sure I shall 
attempt it, and wait upon you with it. 

Plato. — You know the Academy will be always pleased 
to see you, and doubly so on this occasion. 


Author of Being ! Source of Light '. 
With unfading beauties bright. 
Fulness, goodness, rolling round 
Thy own fair orb, without a bound. 
Whether Thee thy suppliants call 
Truth, or Good, or One, or All, 
EI, or JAO, thee we hail, 
Essence that can never fail : 

Line 1. Source of light. — This was the body which the Platonists 
gave to the Supreme Being. 

Line 6. Or one. — Plutarch says, that the ancients termed God — 
Thou who art one ; and that it was from this that the term Apollo 
came : for AiroXkwv, Apollo, signifies " he who is not many," from 
a, privative, and tto\vq, many ; because God is only One, without 
mixture, and without composition. 

Line 6. Or all. — Alluding to the word Tlav, Pan. — See on 
line 75. 

Line 7. EI, — EI, Thou art, the famous word that was engraved 
on the frontispiece of the tempFe of Apollo at Delphi, on which 
Plutarch has written an express treatise. There is a consistency 
here, which is not often met with in heathenism ; for there was 
the strictest propriety that EI, Thou art, should be engraved on 
the temple dedicated to the A7roXXwv, A-pollon — he whose being is 
simple, indivisible. Plutarch, who travelled into Egypt to get 
information on important subjects, doubtless learned the true 
meaning of this word there. Moses had long before proclaimed 
the Supreme Being among that people, by the very expressive 
word rrnx eheyeh, I am, or, I shall be, Exod. iii. 14 ; from which 
the Greek appellative probably came. 


Grecian or Barbaric name, 

Thv stedfast being still the same. 10 

Thee, when morning greets the skies 

With rosy cheeks and humid eyes ; 

Thee, when sweet-declining day 

Sinks in purple waves away ; 

Thee will I sing, O parent Jove ! 15 

And teach the world to praise and love ! 

Yonder azure vault on high, 
Yonder blue, low, liquid sky : 
Earth on its firm basis placed, 

And with circling waves embraced, 20 

All-creating power confess, 
All their mighty Maker bless. 

Thou shak'st all nature with thy nod ; 
Sea, earth, and air confess the God : 
Yet does thy powerful hand sustain 25 

Both earth and heaven, both firm and main. 

Scarce can our daring thought arise 
To thy pavilion in the skies : 
Nor can Plato's self declare 
The bliss, the" joy, the rapture there. 30 

Iao. — The same as miT Yeve or Jehovah. Among the Greeks, 
Si], It], It, 16, was frequent in their invocations to the gods ; which 
epithet comes manifestly from the Hebrew JT Jah or Yeh, a name 
often accompanying run* Jev6, Yeveh, or Yehovah, in the sacred 
writings. Hence the Jove and Jupiter of the Romans, Jupiter 
(q. d., Juvans Pater, "The helping Father"), This Jao or Yeve, 
mri* Yehovah is here termed, line 9, Barbaric name, because the 
Hebrews were styled Barbarians by the Greeks. The word IAG, 
lao, is frequently found on those Egyptian amulets called abraxas, 
or abrasaxas. One with these letters now lies before me : it is a 
black stone, apparently basalt, oval, about an inch in length. 
Above the word is the figure of an altar, and the Egyptian Ibis, 
witha few cuneated characters. The letters in TAG are inverted 
QAI, that they might read fair when the stone should be impressed 
on any soft substance. 

Line 12. With rosy cheeks. — This and the following lines are 
highly poetic. 

Line 18. Yonder blue, low, liquid sky. — There is a most happy 
combination of liquids here, which express the subject of it in a 
most delicate manner. 

Line 19. Earth on its firm basis placed. — It was a general opinion 
among the ancients that the earth was a vast extended plain, en- 
circled by the ocean. 



This we know ; or if we dream, 

Tis at least a pleasing theme ; 

Barren above thou dost not reign, 

But circled with a glorious train ; 

The sons of God, the sons of light, 35 

Ever joying in thy sight : 

(For thee their silver harps are strung.) 

Ever beauteous, ever young :_ 

Angelic forms their voices raise, 

And thro' heaven's arch resound thy praise ! 40 

The feathered souls that swim the air, 
And bathe in liquid ether there ; 
The lark, precentor of their choir, 
Leading them higher still and higher, 
Listen and learn the angelic notes, 45 

Repeating in their warbling throats : 
And ere to soft repose they go, 
Teach them to their lords below. 
On the green turf their mossy nest, 
The evening anthem swells their breast , 50 

Thus, like thy golden chain on high, 
Thy praise unites the earth and sky. 

Line 33. Barren above thou dost not reign, fyc. — Plato held that 
there were three hypostases in the Divine Nature. The first he 
termed To Ov, The Being or Self -existent, and To 'Ev, The One — 
The Alone. The second he termed Noug, Mind, or Intellect. And 
the third, ^vyr\, Soul, or ^ux 1 ? T0V ^oafiov, the Soul of the world. 
The first he often terms To AyaOov, the Good, or Essential Goodness; 
to which the apostle seems to refer, 1 Pet. iii. 13 : " And who 
shall harm you, tav tov AyaOov juijujjrai yiveoQt, if ye become 
imitators of the Good Being." The second he terms Aoyog, The 
Word or Reason, to which St. John certainly refers, John i. 1 : 
" In the beginning was the Word — Aoyog," &c. But the Logos of 
the evangelist is evidently different from that of the philosopher ; 
for Plato does not say, as John does, Kai Qsog r\v 6 Aoyog, and 
God was the Logos. From this Noiȣ or Intellect Plato says the 
To Ov, Supreme Being, struck out innumerable spirits of inferior 
order ; which is nearly tantamount to God's oreating all things bv 
Christ Jesus. 

Line 51. Thus like thy golden chain. — The ancients fabled that 
Jupiter had a chain of gold, which he could at any time let down 
from heaven, and by it draw the earth and all its inhabitants to 
himself. See a fine passage to this effect in Homer, Iliad viii. 
18, 27 :— 

Eid' aye, 7mpjjcra<r0£ Qtoi, iva udtre travrtg. 

Seipj/v xpvffsirjvtg ovpavoOev Kpt[ia(ravreg, k. -. X. 


Sole from sole thou mak'st the sun 
On his burning axles run : 

The stars like dust around him fly, 55 

And strew the area of the sky : 
He drives so swift his race above, 
Mortals can't perceive him move : 
So smooth his course, oblique or straight, 
Olympus shakes not with his weight. 60 

As the queen of solemn night 
Fills at his vase her orb of light, 
Imparted lustre : Thus we see, . 
The solar virtue shines by thee ! ' 

* Phoebus borrows from thy beams 65 
*His radiant locks and golden streams, 

* Whence thy warmth and light disperse, 
*To cheer the grateful universe. 

Now prove me ; let ye down the golden chain 
From heaven, and pull at its inferior links, 
Both goddesses and gods : but me your king, 
Supreme in wisdom, ye shall never draw 
To earth, from heaven, strive with me as ye may. 
But I, if willing to exert my power, 
The earth itself, itself the sea, and you 
Will lift with ease together. — 

» so much am I 

Alone superior both to gods and men. 


By this chain the poets pointed out the union between heaven 
and earth ; or, in other words, the government of the universe, by 
the extensive chain of causes and effects. It was termed golden, 
to point out, not only the beneficence of the divine providence, but 
also that infinite philanthropy of God by which he influences, and 
by which he attracts all mankind to himself. See my note on 
John xii. 32. 

Line 53. Source of light, instead of Sole from sole. (Mr. J. 
Wesley's alteration.) — The sun being sole or alone in the system, 
as God is in the universe : but still this beautiful representation of 
the Deity derives his being and continuance from God ; though 
he be sole below, he is from Him who is sole above. 

Line 55. The stars like dust around him fly. — Some of the an- 
cients and some of the moderns have held the opinion that stars, 
planets, and comets have been fragments broken off from the 
solar orb. 

Line 59. So smooth his course, oblique or straight. — This is an 
allusion to the sun's apparent course in the Zodiac, which appears 
to be oblique between the tropics. But all astronomers know that 
this is occasioned by the earth's motion in its orbit. 



Eiresione ! we'll no .more 

For its fancied aid implore ; 7<i 

Since bright oil, and wool, and wine, 

And life-sustaining bread are thine ; 
' Wine that sprightly mirth supplies, 
' Noble wine for sacrifice ! 

Thy herbage, great Pan, sustains 75 

The flocks that graze our Attic plains. 

The olive with fresh verdure crowned 

Rises pregnant from the ground, — 
* Our native plant, our wealth, our pride, 
f To more than half the world denied. «') 

At Jove's command it shoots and springs, 

. And a thousand blessings brings. 

Minerva only is thy mind, 
Wisdom and bounty to mankind. 

Line 69. Eiresione! we'll no more. — The Greek word Eifxo-icjvt], 
Eiresione, means a kind of telesm used by the Athenians by the 
command of the oracle of Apollo, to drive away famine. It was an 
olive-branch rolled round with wool, on which were hung ripe fruits, 
a pot of honey, a bottle of oil, &c. ; in a word, the different species 
of fruits and necessaries of life peculiar to the four seasons of the 
year : and one of these was hung up at the door of each house. 
Suidas gives the derivation of the name thus : Eip«<riwi/jj de \tytrai 
dia ra fpta, " it was called Eiresione, because of the wool," which 
the Greeks call apiov. See also Plutarch, and a quotation from 
Potter's Grecian Antiquities, vol. i., p. 395. 

Line 75. Thy herbage, great Pan. — The Mendes of the Egyp- 
tians was the Pan of the Greeks and Romans ; and signified him 
whose nature is infinite, and whose government is universal, from 
7rav, all, because he is the author and governor of all things. In 
process of time the pure ideas which the Greeks had entertained of 
the divine nature became obliterated, and the "0 fisyag Hav, The 
great Pan, degenerated among the Romans, &c, into a monster. 
half man, half goat! 

Line 77. The olive with fresh verdure crowned. — Neptune and 
Minerva, called also Athena, are said to have contended who 
should give a name to the new city which Cecrops had built. It 
was at last agreed that whoever should produce the most beneficial 
gift should give the city its name. Neptune struck the earth with 
his trident, and a horse sprung up. Minerva caused an olive to 
spring from the ground : she conquered, and called the city after 
her own name, Athenae or Athens. 

Line 83. Minerva only is thy mind. — Minerva is fabled to have 
sprung out of the brain of Jupiter full grown and completely armed. 
A fine mythologic representation of the nature of wisdom. 


The fragrant thyme, the blooming rose, 85 

Herb, and flower, and shrub that grows 

On Thessalian Tempe's plain, 

Or where the rich Sabeans reign, 

That treat the taste, the smell, or sight, 

For food, for medicine, or delight ; 90 

Planted by thy guardian care, 

Spring, and smile, and flourish there. 

* .Alcinoan gardens in their pride, 

* With blushing fruit from thee supplied. 

O ye nurses of soft dreams ! 95 

Ileedy brooks and winding streams, 

* By our tuneful race admired, 

* Whence we think ourselves inspired . 
Or murmuring o'er the pebbles sheen, 

Or sliding through the meadows green ; 100 

Or where through matted sedge ye creep, 
Travelling to your parent deep, 
Sound his praise by whom ye rose, — 
That Sea which neither ebbs nor flows 

O ye immortal woods and groves, 105 

§ Which the enraptured student loves ; 

Beneath whose venerable shade, 
§ For learned thought and converse made, 

* §Or in the famed Lycean walks, 

*§Or where my heavenly master talks, 110 

§ Where Hecadem, old hero, lies, 

§ Whose shrine is shaded from the skies, 

Line 93. Alcinoan gardens. — Alcinous was the son of Nausithous, 
and king of the Pheacians, in the island of Corcyra. He was so 
famous a horticulturist, that his gardens and fruit became prover- 
bial. He is celebrated by Homer, Virgil, Ovid, and others. 

Line 97. By our tuneful race admired. — That is, the poets. 

Line 102. Travelling to your parent deep. — The rivers are called 
by the poets "the thousand daughters of Oceanus." 

Line 109. Or in the famed Lycean walks. — The Lyceum was a 
celebrated school at Athens, where Aristotle taught and explained 
his philosophy. It was composed of porticoes and trees planted in 
the quincunx form, among which the philosophers disputed walk- 
ing, hence called HepnrarriTiKoi, Peripatetics, from irspi, about, 
nnd iraTUit, I walk. The followers of Aristotle were called the 
Peripatetics from this circumstance ; and the followers of Plate 
were called Academics, from the place called the Academy, when? 
Plato gave his lectures. See the note onver. 111. 

Line 111. Where Hecadem, old hero, lies. — Hecademus or Acade? 
mus, was a famous hero among the Athenians in the time of Theseus. 



And through the gloom of silent night, 

Project from far your trembling light ; — 

You, whose roots descend as low, 1 15 

As high in air your branches grow, 

Your leafy arms to heaven extend, 

Bend your heads, in homage bend ! 

Cedars and pines that wave above, 

And the oak beloved of Jove. 120 

Omen, monster, prodigy ! 
Or nothing are, or, Jove, from thee ! 
Whether various nature's play, 
Or she reversed thy will obey ; 

And to rebel man declare, 125 

Famine, plague, or wasteful war. 
Atheists laugh, and dare despise 
The threatening vengeance of the skies : 
Whilst the pious, on his guard, 

Undismayed, is still prepared : 130 

Life or death, his mind's at rest, 
Since what you send must needs be best. 

* What cannot thy almighty wit 

* Effect, or influence, or permit 1 

* Which leaves free causes to their will, 135 

* Yet guides and over-rules them still ! 

* The various minds of men can twine, 

* And work them to thy own design : 

* For who can sway what boasts 'tis free, 

* Or rule a commonwealth, but Thee 1 140 

* Our stubborn will thy word obeys, 

* Our folly shows thy wisdom's praise : 

* As skilful steersmen make the wind, 

* Though rough, subservient to mankind. 

He had a plot of ground about a thousand paces from the city, 
which he bequeathed to the public at his death. It was in this 
place that Plato taught his philosophy ; and as the place got the 
name of Academy, from its ancient owner, so Plato's scholars had 
the name of Academics from the place. This is the origin of our 
word academy. The grounds of the Academy formed the burying- 
place of the principal heroes and philosophers of Athens. 

Line 117 You whose roots, fyc — Virgil speaks thus of the oak : — 

Quae quantum vertice ad auras 
-^Etherias, tantum radice in Tartara tendit. 

Georg. ii., ver. 291. 

High as his topmost boughs to heaven ascend, 

So low his roots to hell's dominions tend. Dryden. 



* A tempest drives them safe to land ; 145 

* With joy they hail and kiss the sand. 

* So, when our angry tribes engage, 

* And dash themselves to foam and rage, 

* The demagogues, the winds that blow, 

* Heave and toss them to and fro ; 150 

* Silence ! is by thee proclaimed, 

* The tempest falls, the winds are tamed ; 

* At thy word the tumults cease, 

* And all is calm, and all is peace ! 

* Monsters that obscurely sleep 155 

* In the' bottom of the deep, 

* Or, when for air or food they rise, 

* Spout the j32gean to the skies ; 

* Know thy voice, and own thy hand, 

* Obsequious to their lord's command ; 160 

* As the waves forget to roar, 

* And gently kiss the murmuring shore. 

No evil can from thee proceed ; 
'Tis only suffered, not decreed : 

Line 147. So when our angry tribes engage. — The ideas in this 
and the following seven lines are the same with those in the follow- 
ing passage of Virgil, ^Eneid. i., ver. 148 : — 

Ac veluti magno in populo cum saspe coorta' est 
Seditio, s&vitque animis ignobile vulgus ; 
Jamque faces et saxa volant, furor arma ministrat : 
Turn pietate gravem ac meritis si forte virum quern 
Conspexere, silent : arrectisque auribus adstant : 
Ille regit dictis animos, et pectora mulcet. 

As when sedition fires th' ignoble crowd, 
And the wild rabble storms and thirsts for blood ; 
Of stones and brands a mingled tempest flies, 
With all the sudden arms which rage supplies. 
If some grave Sire appears amidst the strife, 
In morals strict, and innocence of life, 
All stand attentive ; while the sage controls 
Their wrath, and calms the tumult of their souls. 


Line 158. Spout the Mgean to the skies. — The ^Egean sea is pro- 
perly a part of the Mediterranean, near to Greece, parting Europe 
from Asia. It is commonly called the Archipelago. 

Line 163. No evil can from thee proceed. — Dryden, who wrote a 
short time before Mr. Wesley, has a sentiment like this in his 
Cymon and Iphigenia : 


As darkness is not from the sun, 163 

Nor mount the shades till he is gone ; 

Then night obscene does straight arise 

From Erebus, and fills the skies ; 

Fantastic forms the air invade, — 

Daughters of nothing and of shade. 170 

When wars and pains afflict mankind, 

'Tis for a common good designed ; 

As tempests sweep and clean the air, 

And all is healthy, all is fair. 

Good and true, and fair and right, 175 

Are thy choice, and thy delight. 

Government thou didst ordain, 

Equal justice to maintain : 

Thus thou reign'st enthroned in state, 

Thy will is just, thy will is fate. 180 

The good can never be unblest, 

While impious minds can never rest ; 

A plague within themselves they find, 

Each other plague, and all mankind. 

" But here I stop, not daring to proceed, 
Yet blush to flatter an unrighteous deed, 
For crimes are but permitted, not decreed." 

The thought is great in Wesley — mean in Dryden ; a base excuse 
for crime in the latter — a grand display of infinite purity and per- 
fection, as introduced by the former. 

Line 165. As darkness is not from the sun. — Here is a simple 
argument taken from an incontestable matter of fact, that most for- 
cibly explodes the horrible doctrine, that God has willed and decreed 
evil. God is the Fountain of good, and is essentially good ; there- 
fore evil cannot come from him. This is absolutely impossible, as 
nothing can give what it does not possess. But evil does exist . 
then it is suffered, not decreed. There is such a thing as darkness : 
but this cannot be from the sun ; for he is a body of light, and 
there is no darkness in him. Darkness is not from the sun ; sin 
and evil are not from God. 

Line 168. From Erebus, and Jills the skies. — Erebus, in fable, is 
one of the infernal gods ; supposed to be the father of Nox, or 
Night, whom he begot of Chaos, or nothing. The word is evi- 
dently corrupted from the Hebrew my Ereb (Gen. i. 8), which 
there signifies the evening or twilight, from the word arab, to 
mingle, because twilight is a mixture of light and darkness. 

Line 180. Thy will is fate. — The word fate has been grossly mis- 
applied and abused : it comes from the supine fatum, spoken ; of 
the verb fari, to speak, and signifies, in reference to God, what he 
has spoken ; and when rightly understood, in reference to his go- 
vernment of the world and treatment of man, what he has promised 
or threatened to do in his revealed word. 


Can we forget thy guardian care, 185 

Slow to punish, prone to spare ? 

* Or heroes by thy bounty raised, 

* To eternal ages praised 1 

* Codrus, who Athens loved so well, 

* He for her devoted fell ; 190 

* Theseus, who made us madly free, 

* And dearly bought our liberty ; 

* Whom our grateful tribes repaid, 

* With murdering him who brought them aid ; 

* To tyrants made an easy prey, 195 

* Who would not godlike kings obey. 

* Tyrants and kings from God proceed ; 

* Those permitted, — these decreed. 

Thou break'st the haughty Persian's pride, 
Which did both sea and land divide. 200 

Their shipwrecks strew'd th' Eubaean wave : 
At Marathon they found a grave. 

Line 189. Codrus, who Athens loved so well. — Codrus was the last 
king of Athens. The Peloponnesians being at war with the Athe- 
nians, were told by the Oracle that they should gain the victory, 
provided they did not slay the Athenian king. Codrus hearing 
this, disguised himself, and went into the Peloponnesian camp, 
where, offering some insult to the soldiers, he was slain, and in the 
battle the Athenians got the victory. — Paterculus. 

Line 191. Theseus who made us madly free. — Theseus was a 
famous hero of antiquity, the son of iEgeus, king of Athens. He 
is said to have united the twelve cities of Attica, and to have 
founded a republic there, about 1236 years before the Christian 
era. Being driven from his throne of Athens by the usurper 
Mnestheus, he fled to Lycomedes, king of Scyros (an island in the 
iEgean sea (for protection ; but the perfidious king caused him to 
be thrown from a precipice, and dashed to pieces. — Plutarch. 

Line 200. Which did both sea and land divide. — Xerxes may be 
said to have divided the sea when he threw a bridge of boats over 
the Hellespont, now the Dardanelles. He may be said to have 
divided the land, when, according to some historians, he cut a pas- 
sage for his fleet through Mount Athos. 

Line 202. At Marathon they found a grave. — The famous battle 
of Marathon (a place about ten miles from Athens), between the 
Persians and Athenians, was fought in the 490th year before 
Christ. The Athenians had only 10,000 men, and the Persians 
110,000; yet the Greeks defeated them, and slew 6,400 men, 
while themselves lost only 190. The Persians fled to their ships : 
but the conquerors took, burnt, or destroyed the major part of them, 
the rest having effected their escape by dint of rowing. Miltiades 
that day commanded the Athenian troops. As soon as the memo- 
rable battle was ended, Philippidas the courier formed the project 


O ye blessed Greeks, who there expired ■ 
With noble emulation fir'd ! 

* Your trophies will not let me rest, 205 

* Which swell'd, Themistocles, thy breast. 
What shrines, what altars shall we raise, 
To secure your endless praise ] 

Or need we monuments supply, 

To rescue what can never die 1 1210 

* Godlike men ! how firm they stood ! 

* Moating- their country with their blood. 

And yet a greater hero far, 
Unless great Socrates could err, 
§ (Though whether human or divine, 215 

§ Not e'en his genius could define) 
§ Shall rise to bless some future day, 
§ And teach to live, and teach to pray. 

of carrying the news to the magistrates of Athens : without quitting 
his armour, he ran, arrived, announced the glad tidings, and, spent 
with fatigue, he fell dead at their feet ! See Herodotus, in Erato ; 
and Lucian, Hspi rov IIrai<7/iaroc. 

Line 205. Your trophies will not let me rest. — After the battle of 
Marathon, mentioned above, the Athenians raised monuments on 
the field to those noble Athenians who had so bravely defended 
their country ; and in the spaces between them, trophies were 
erected, composed of the Persian arms. Themistocles, when very 
young, was observed to be very pensive, and often to deny himself 
both sleep and necessary food. Being asked the reason, he gave 
for answer we. KaOevSeiv avrov ovk e^t] to tov MiXriaoou rpo- 
rraiov. " That the trophies of Miltiades would not suffer him to 
sleep ;" thereby intimating, that he had an insatiable desire to imi- 
tate, the military exploits of that famous Athenian general. See 

Lines 211, 212. Godlike men ! how firm they stood! — How these 
two verses, especially, came to be left out of the printed copies of 
this poem, I cannot conceive ; but anything more grand or noble, 
on such a subject, never saw the sun. " Moat" signifies a deep 
ditch, round a castle, &c, and filled with water, in order to render 
the approach of an enemy more difficult. In his poem on Marlbro', 
Mr. Wesley employs the same figure ; which may be taken as an 
intimation that both have proceeded from the same pen. 

Line 216. Not e'en his genius. — This alludes to the demon of 
Socrates, or attendant spirit, which he said attended him always, 
and advertised him every morning of the evils to which he should 
be exposed in the course of the day. The late Professor Porson 
showed me a very ancient MS. copy of Plato's works, in which 
there were marginal scholia : and one on this very subject stated 
that " what Socrates called his demon was a tingling in the ears." 

Line 218. And teach to live, and teach to pray. — Here is a refer- 


§ Come, unknown instructor, come, 
§ Our leaping hearts shall make thee room ; 
§ Thou with Jove our vows shalt share ; — 
§ Of Jove and thee we are the care. 

O Father, King ! whose heavenly face 
Shines serene on all thy race ; 

We thy magnificence adore, 225 

And thy well-known aid implore : 
Nor vainly for thy help we call ; 
Nor can we want, for thou art all ! 

* May thy care preserve our state, 

* Ever virtuous, ever great ! 230 

* Thou our splendour and defence, 

* Wars and factions banish tbence ! 

* Thousands of Olympiads pass'd, 

* May its fame and glory last ! 

Tevoiro, ytvoiro. 

ence to the conclusion of the dialogue between Socrates and Alci- 
biades concerning prayer, viz. 

Socr. — You see therefore that it is not safe fot you to go and 
pray to God, lest your addresses should happen to be impious, and 
God should wholly reject your sacrifice. It is necessary therefore 
that you should delay till you have learned what disposition you 
ought to be in both towards God and man. 

Alcib. — But how long will it be, O Socrates ! and who is this 
instructor 1 

Socr. — It is he who careth for you. But as Minerva removed 
the mists from the eyes of Diomed, that he might distinguish gods 
from men ; so must he first remove from your soul the mist that 
surrounds it, and then furnish those helps by which you shall be 
able to distinguish good from evil. 

Alcib. — Let him remove that mist, or whatever else it be ; for 
I shall be always ready to follow his commands, so that 1 may be- 
come a better man. 

Socr. — It is wonderful to consider what a providential regard he 
has towards thee. (AWa [xrjv kclkhvoq ^avjxaari\v bat]v -xtpi at 

Trpo9vfiiav «x £t 

See Plato. Oper. Alcibiad. sec. Vol. V- p. 100. Edit. Bipont. 

Line 222. Of Jove and thee we are the care. — Referring to the 
words of Socrates in the above extract : 'Ovroq tariv y fieWet 
irtpi aov. It is he who careth for thee. 

Line 229. May thy care preserve oar state. — I believe the last 
six lines were applied by the poet to the British Empire ; to 
which, in the spirit of true patriotism, his heart and hand put 
ytvoiro ! ytvoiro ! so be it! so be it! and to which the annotator 
affectionately subscribes AMEN and AMEN. 



Line 70. For its fancied aid implore. — Imaginary power adore. 

Mr/j. Wesley. 

Line 71. Since bright oil and ivool and wine. — Since oil and 
wool and cheerful wine. J. Wesley. 

Line 81. At Jove's command. — At thy command. Mr. J. Wesley. 

Line 106. Which the enamoured student loves. — Which the pen- 
sive lover loves. S. W.'s alteration in Mrs. Wright's MS. 

Line 108. For learned thought and converse made. — Sacred fanes 
are frequent made. — Mrs. W.'s copy. " For thought and friendly 
converse made." J. W. " For learned thought and converse 
made." Alteration by Mr. J. W 

Line 123. Whether various nature's play. — Whether varied 
nature play. J. W. 

Line 127. Atheists laugh, and dare despise.— Laugh, ye profane 
who dare, &c. J. W. 

Line 132. You send. — Thou send'st. J. W. 

Line 167. Then night obscene does straight arise. — Then does 
night obscene arise. J. W. 

Line 204. With noble emulation fired.-^-Fov Greece with pious 
ardor fir'd. J. W. 


Samuel Wesley's Letters on the Septuagint. 

From the Rev. Samuel Wesley, sen., to his son John, at 
Oxford, giving a general character of the Septuagint Version, 
accompanying a Dissertation on the Septuagint, which he 
wishes him to show to a learned friend whom he had men- 
tioned, who was greatly enamoured of this Version ; and 
who wrote a letter afterwards to Mr. Samuel Wesley de- 
fending it against his exceptions. This learned friend was 
Emanuel Langley, of Hart Hall, Oxford : — 

"Epwortk, Feb. 6, 1730-31. 
"Dear son, 
" I shall first answer your ult., and then your penult. I 
thank you for Dr. King. I find him strong, but too weighty 
for me ; and therefore, like Saul's armour, till I have proved 
it, I can't make use of it, but must be content with what 
small stones I had in my own and Mr. Ditton's scrip. As 
for the letter which I had before, I find in it an account of a 
learned friend of yours who has a great veneration for the 
Septuagint, and thinks in some places it corrects the pre- 
sent Hebrew copy. I don't at all wonder he should be of 
that mind, when 'tis likely he may have read Vassius and 
others, who magnify this translation so highly as to depre- 
ciate the original ; and I must confess I was inclined to the 
same opinion when I first began in earnest to study the 
Scriptures, and read over more than once or twice the Sep- 
tuagint, according to the Vatican, though not then com- 
paring it with the original Hebrew. What then added to 
my respect for it, and increased it almost to superstition, was, 
that I not only found the sense of many texts in the Scrip- 
ture, as I thought, more happily explained than in our own 
or other Versions, — which is the first thing that is generally 
taken notice of by those who begin to read it; but likewise 
there are several words and phrases in the New Testament 
which can hardly be so well understood without having 
recourse to this translation ; but especially, that it is so fre- 
quently quoted, both by our Saviour himself and by his 
apostles, even where it seems to differ from the Hebrew, 
and perhaps does sometimes really differ from it. These 

* See vol. i., p. 360. 


considerations, though I since find they have been all 
weighed and answered by learned men of our own commu- 
nion, as well as others, yet held me so long in a blind admi- 
ration of the Septuagint, that though I did not esteem them 
absolutely infallible, yet I hardly dared trust my own eyes, 
or think they were considerably or frequently mistaken, till 
upon reading this translation over very often, and comparing 
them verbatim with the Hebrew, I was forced by plain evi- 
dence of fact to be of another mind. 

" That which led me to it was not so much some mis- 
takes (I think I should not exceed if I should say at least 
1000) in places indifferent, either occasioned by the am- 
biguous sense of some words in the Hebrew, or by the 
mistake of some letters, as t for i, and vice versa, which 
every one knows are very much alike in the old Hebrew 
character, and which is a demonstration to me that the 
LXX. translated from such a copy as was written in the 
same character, namely, that which is now called the Chal- 
dee, and that even the Samaritans transcribed theirs from a 
copy which was written in the same sort of letters ; but 
that which most moved me and fully determined my judg- 
ment was, that I found, or thought I found, very many 
places in this version of the Septuagint, when I came to 
compare it close with the Hebrew, that appeared to me 
purposely altered, and that for no very honest, at least 
justifiable, reasons. These came at last so thick upon me in 
the course of my daily reading, not only m the Pentateuch, 
but in the Proverbs, the Kings, the Major and Minor Pro- 
phets, that I began to note them down, not a few instances 
whereof you will see in the following Dissertation, which I 
have been at the pains to get entirely transcribed, and shall 
send it to you in my next packet, which I send to your 
brother at London, and have ready by me to send by the 
carrier, as soon as I receive my printed prolegomena from 
him, and would have you communicate it to your learned 
friend, with my best respects (though unknown to me), 
earnestly desiring him as well as you to peruse it with the 
greatest prejudice you can ; and after you have thoroughly 
weighed the whole, as I think the subject deserves, to make 
the strongest objections you are able against any particular 
article of it, where you are not convinced by my observa- 
tions and reasonings ; for I should not deserve any friend if 
I did not esteem those my best friends who did their en- 
deavours to set me right where I may be possibly mistaken, 
especially in a matter of so great moment, which is like 
shortly to appear publicly in the world. 

" This is all at present, except that, blessed be God, we 


are all well, and every body sends respects (and I believe 
some letters in the packet that comes herewith), as your 
mother her blessing, and the same 

" Your loving father, 

"S. W." 

The Dissertation on the Septuagint, mentioned above, I 
believe was never printed. According to his father's direc- 
tion, the dissertation was shown to the then unknown friend, 
mentioned above, who, as stated, was Emanuel Langley, of 
Hart Hall, Oxford, and who wrote a long critique on the 
subject, and sent it to the rector of Ep worth, April 17, 1730; 
to which Mr. Wesley replied some time in the same year. 
As his reply contains the sum of Mr. Langley's objections — 
for he considers them seriatim — I need not insert the 

Mr. Langley's letter is in Latin ; and in it he endeavours 
to defend the Septuagint against Mr. Wesley's attacks on 
its inaccuracy, and want of good faith to the Hebrew original, 
changing many words and passages, merely to please the 
Egyptians, and Ptolemy Philadelphus their king. See the 
preceding letter to his son John, at Oxford. 

Samuel Wesley, rector of Epworth, to the Rev. Emanuel 
Langley, of Hart Hall, Oxford, in answer to a critique 
which Mr. L. had written on Mr. Wesley's Dissertation on 
the Septuagint. 

" Vir Reverende, 

"■ There is one advantage in my son's staying so little a 
while with me, which is, that I have not time to answer 
your kind, civil, and learned letter, in my own sorry Latin ; 
so you will for the present escape that punishment. Neither 
have I time to answer, distinctly, every article of yours, nor 
indeed is there any occasion for it, because we are in many 
things so entirely agreed, as in thinking the LXX. not 
preferable to the text, or divinely inspired, but in many 
places have been mistaken, whether willingly or unwillingly 
is the dispute between us. 

" I readily own that it was very pardonable, if after their 
best endeavours to understand the text, and to give the true 
sense of it, they were in some instances, or even in a pretty 
many, involuntarily mistaken ; though it is not easy to con- 
ceive how so many persons, and undoubtedly not the least 
learned of their nation, should be at a loss for the sense of 
so many words in a book wherewith they were so well 
acquainted, and therefore write the Hebrew words in Greek 
characters, as tvQesfiovXaOioO, ttrfiete, and others. I own, 


they have also paraphrased the text in many places, where 
there seems to have been no necessity of doing- it; in which 
practice the vulgar Latin has too often imitated them : but 
I cannot yet come into your notion, that the Hebrew text 
has been in any place (except perhaps one to my observa- 
tion, and that but in half a letter, and nowhere wilfully), 
corrupted or vitiated ; but that the Greek copies are often 
Wrong-, either by the ignorance of the translators or tran- 
scribers (I believe by both), is fully agreed between us. 

"But the main of the cause .turns upon the following ques- 
tions : First, whether the seniors have falsely represented 
the sacred text, that they might consult the honour of their 
nation ? 

" Secondly, whether they have ever done the like for 
fear of the Egyptians, or lest they should thereby give 
scancul to them, or to other heathens ? 

" On the first head, your general assertion is, that the 
Alexandrine copy entirely supplies the defects of those 
places which are wanting in the Vatican. I have not time 
to examine this fact at present, though I know it is true in 
many instances. You say the case was thus, in that famous 
place at the beginning of Jer. xvii. I find, indeed, in Bos, 
that it is read in the Complut., and in some copies of the 
Vatican (though under asterisks), though he says nothing 
in his Scholia of its being in the Alexandrine; but I have 
not Grabe by me, nor can I find it in the Roman Scholia. 

" The first time I saw the Alexandrine, or any copies of 
the difference between that and the Vatican, as formerly in 
the Polyglott, when I had it by me, I was, Rev. Sir, entirely 
of your mind; and exceedingly pleased, when I thought 
they had cured many defects of the Vatican, and continued 
in the same opinion for many years ; but, on my growing 
better acquainted with those matters, I was forced, in a 
great measure, to change my opinion ; and have been for 
some time inclined greatly to suspect the Alexandrine has 
done, in some measure, like the Complut., and altered the 
old Septuagint, that it might be nearer the Hebrew ; and 
consequently, the nearer any copy of the Septuagint is to 
the Hebrew, the more I suspect it to be corrupted, that is, 
from the Greek original ; though I have not time here to 
show you my reasons. 

" Be that as it will, it is certain that these verses, Jer. 
xvii., were wanting in St. Austin's copy ; and I believe you 
will find the same in St. Jerome; but When you say, that 
period, Deut. i. 35, r\ ytvea irovr)pa avrt}, tho\igh it be not 
in the Vatican, is in the Alexandrine, 1 can find nothing 
like it, either in Bos's or the Roman Scholia; though I 


confess there is something not far from it in the Complut., 
namely, tovtwv twv irovrjpwv. 

" Your next remark is on 1 Sam. ii. 22, that where the 
Vatican has it lamely EKopiZov, the Alexandrian gives it 
perfectly, kKoijxiZ,ov : first, I find nothing of ticofiiZov in the 
Vatican ; secondly, I find, according to Bos, not tieoipiZov, 
but sicofii£ov, in the Alexandrine; though, indeed, the 
Scholion has o)q tKoifuavro. 

"As to your next, of dw, at Judg. xvii. 10, your answer 
is probable, and, I believe, true. 

" As for Gen. xxxvii. 2, you say the Alexandrine has it 
KdTEveyKEv (currente calamo) pro KarevtyKav, not as in the 
Vatican, KarrjveyKav. 

"But Bos has it KarrjvsyKav, both in the Vatican and 
Alexandrine, and Aldus, KarrjveyKav Se Kara Iwcte^ ; though 
Diodorus, in the same Scholion, says that the Syrian and 
the Hebrew, for Kartivtyicav, have jcarijveyicev, which Bos 
has from the Schol. Rom., as many of his other notes. 

" As for the next text, Gen. xlv. 22, where the LXX. 
render spa by xpovcrovg, — if I could see any proof that the 
ancients did take pieces of gold and pieces of silver, when 
indefinitely spoken to be of the same value, I should be 
concluded by them ; but till I am convinced of that, must 
be forced at least £7r«xav ; though the Syriac, as I find in 
Bos, and the Roman Scholiast, have not been full out so 
liberal ; for they give him but diaicotnovQ xP V(JlV0v £> Du t they 
make it up in giving him irevre Z,vyaq arbkuiv. 

" The question is not, whether the word wio does some- 
times signify displicere, seu odiosum, et malum esse, but 
why the LXX. have translated it several times by rxwitotv, 
when it does not relate to the Israelites, as twice or thrice 
in Exod. vii. ; but when it relates to themselves, have taken 
the softest sense of the word, which was certainly wise, 
but I know not whether so fair and honest. Neither am I 
sure that they were then accused by the heathens as hircum 
olentes, as they have been in after ages ; though I cannot 
say I perceived any such disagreeable savour when I have 
often sat a long time very near them. 

" The next is "non. 'Tis known the Jews, even persons 
of quality, their judges, &c, were wont, in those times, to 
ride upon white asses, which are much more beautiful and 
larger than ours; and they had few horses among them 
before Solomon's time ; nor are there any such in Job's 
inventory, though some of the Fathers have given him both 
mules and horses; for which reasons the LXX. would 
hardly have dismounted Moses from the ass, or provided at 
least an equivocal carriage for him, in the word vnoZvyiov, 


if they had not some particular cause for it. Now the red 
ass on which, in the Egyptian histories, Typhon (who was 
also red), that is, Moses, was said to fly out of Egypt, on 
whose account they sacrificed a red ass every year, makes 
it look very suspicious, that the LXX. here avoided the 
word ovoq, which could signify nothing else, lest they should 
confirm the Egyptians in their hatred : but the LXX. go 
farther, and for fear one beast should not be thought enough 
for Moses and his family, they here furnish him with more, 
even as many as he pleases, for they use an indefinite 
number, avEflifiaaev avra «7rt tcl vTro%vyia : but Balaam, 
being raised up by the devil as Moses's rival, they allow 
but one bare ass between him and his two servants for a 
much longer journey. 

"As for Caleb's daughter, she was much inferior to Moses, 
as well as their patriarch Issachar ; nor was there the same 
reason against mounting her upon an ass, that there was in 
the case of Moses. 

" I confess there is something more in that of Judah, 
Gen. xlix. 11 : deo-fxeviov tk\ eXitci top tto\ov Ttjg ovov avrov ; 
but then 'tis known, that not only the Fathers, St. Ambrose, 
St. Austin, &c, but even the Targum itself, refers this to 
the Messiah, of whom the foregoing words are indisputably 
to be understood, where he is called the Shiloh ; and 'tis 
said, that e unto him shall the gathering of the people be ;' 
and both of these are mentioned, the ass and the foal, in 
our Saviour's history, as well as in the prophecy of Zech. 
ix. ; and in the gospels we read, ovov Sedefievriv, /ecu ttoXov 
per avTtje ; though I grant 'tis afterwards, ttoXov viov vtto- 
Zwiov, and that, as you observe, viroZ,vyiov is an equivocal 
word for any jumentum. 

" Neither can I be satisfied any more, Sir, than I can 
perceive you yourself are, with Bonfronius's defence of 
that strange translation, Gen. xlix. 14, 15, of d-u nran by 
to KaXov t7rtQv[j,r}GEv, bonum concupivit, as well as vnb ~\iy 
by avr\o yeiapyog ; and I believe you think Bonfronius's 
interpretation is not a little strained and unnatural, from 
one end to the other ; which is as follows : therefore bonus 
concupivit, he desired a good thing, &c, the same as he 
thought it a good thing strongly to undergo the labours of 
agriculture ; that is, he was a strong ass. They well enough 
understood the connexion of their translation, that if he 
would constantly give himself to husbandry, he must ne- 
cessarily pay tribute. Nor is it any wonder that the other 
translators, Aquila and Symmachus, being Jews, should, 
for the same reason, agree in almost the same translation. 
" I can as little agree with the LXX. in their Version of 


Deut. xxvi. 5, tax *nin by ovpiav aireXiirsv, though I must 
own your conjecture is very ingenious., and the alteration 
very small, if we read "DN" d~ik a7re\i7r£v, which is the Com- 
plut., but the Vatican is airt(3a\ev. Yet, as to what fol- 
lows, I am sorry, sir, I cannot come into your opinion. You 
ask, how Jacob could be called a Syrian, when he was born 
in Canaan ? I answer, he might justly be called so, espe- 
cially by way of diminution. First, from his origin, because 
Abraham came out of Syria. Second, from his mother, who 
was a Syrian; and from his habitation in Syria, where he 
was, as it were, naturalized, had lived so many years, was 
married, and acquired all his wealth and children. Nor 
seems the second objection any stronger, that Jacob could 
not be said to be a poor man, and ready to perish, when he 
went down into Egypt, because he went with great sub- 
stance, and had money enough to buy what corn he pleased ; 
for, in answer, that man must certainly be poor who wants 
bread ; and that he and his family were ready to perish by 
famine before they went down into Egypt, we find ex- 
pressly in several places in the history : — The first place, 
Gen. xlii. 2 ; e Buy corn for us, that we may live and not 
die ;' as Joseph says afterwards, ' Carry corn for the famine 
of your houses ;' so chap, xliii., Judah said, ' We will arise 
and go, that we may live and not die, both we and thou, 
and also our little ones.' Joseph says, in chap. xlv. 7, f God 
sent him to save their lives by a great deliverance ;' and 
again, at verse 11, f I will nourish thee, lest thou and thy 
household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty ;' that is, 
the lowest degree of it, want of bread : from all which in- 
stances,, it seems evident, that the common reading of the 
Hebrew cannot reasonably be faulted, when it styles Jacob 
Syrus peribundus, especially just before he went down into 

" As for man, I drop that objection, because the sense 
you give it is very probable. 

" But as to that of Hobab, Numb. x. 31, I cannot agree 
with Bonfronius, and the LXX., because there is a pretty 
deal more in the Hebrew than in the Greek, and I would be 
glad to hear any cause of their omission, except that which 
I have assigned. Moses says, ver. 29, ' Leave us not, I pray 
thee, forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in 
the wilderness (that is, the best places for castrametation, 
where there was water, pasturage, &c), and thou mayest be 
to us instead of eyes ;' Hobab being doubtless well ac- 
quainted with the parts of the wilderness wherein his 
father's flocks had been always fed, though the ark went 
three days' journey before them from Mount Sinai, to search 


them out a resting-. 'Tis true, Stephanus says, that pro ocu- 
lis alieni esse, sorat ac esse ductorem, but I can nowhere 
find that 7rpE<r/3t>r»j£ signifies ductor, though it is common 
in the lexicographers to render the Hebrew by the Greek 
Versions ; whereof I have given a larger account in my 
searches into the history of the Rechabites, the posterity of 

" I next remark your reason, which is a very plausible 
one, that the seniors in their Version had no respect to the 
Israelites, so as to incline them to partiality towards them, 
because, in innumerable places, where the text speaks of 
their ingratitude, obduracy, &c, they have faithfully ren- 
dered it. 

u This I entirely grant, for, indeed, if they had not done 
it, a great part of Moses and of the prophets must have 
been quite omitted ; but how shall we do to clear them, 
where they have certainly omitted, or at least, evidently 
softened, or disguised, many other places which bear hardest 
upon their nation ? For which we need go no further than 
the Book of Jeremiah, which, if I can possibly, I will go 
through on that argument for your satisfaction. 

" Your latter reason seems to bend stronger from Jer. 
xxxi. 32, that they have translated there more harshly than 
in the original by jj/xtXjjca avrovg ; but I believe it will be 
found that one or two of the significations of the word bjn 
here used, are yet stronger than the LXX. have turned it: 
e. g., Jer. iii. 14, by KaTaicvpuvo) ', Isai. xvi. 8, by Kara- 


" The second probable cause which I assign of the devia- 
tions of the LXX. from the Hebrew texts, was, lest they 
should displease the Egyptians, as well as give scandal in 
general to the heathens, had they in some places literally 
translated it. I instance in Exod. xiii. 13, where they used 
XurjDwffjy, for spy, which you own is not to be defended, un- 
less with Lipman you read \vQpuori for XvTpuxrrj; but I can- 
not think } 7 ou acquiesce in this change, because it is not so 
read in any copy either printed or MS. of the LXX. that I 
know of; whence it probably follows, the reason I have 
given for this version of the LXX. is the right, though I am 
afraid not a very honest reason. 

" You proceed to Jer. xlvi. 17, ' Pharaoh, king of Egypt, 
is but a noise ;' which you know is monstrously written in 
the LXX., and so quoted by Theodoret ; but why could they 
not have understood it, had they pleased, as well as Sym- 
machus, Aquila, and other Versions? I wish a fairer reason 
could be found than that which I have given. If you think 
the true sense of the Hebrew is no reflection on so great a 



king, or disparagement of him, I must be forced here like- 
wise to differ from you in my judgment. I own, as before, 
in the case of Israel, that they insert other prophecies which 
are very severe against the Egyptians ; but if the answer to 
the former holds, the same will serve as to this, that other- 
wise they must have omitted entire chapters both in Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. 

"As to your last observation, that I have taken notice 
the LXX. have translated other places in Scripture ortho- 
doxly, and conveniently, where there is mention of the 
seeing God, and that the Chaldee, and often the Syriac and 
Arabic, do herein follow the LXX. : In answer, though they 
may perhaps have translated them orthodoxly (which yet I 
doubt, because I am satisfied those places are to be under- 
stood of the Aoyog, who appeared in the Shechinah), and, 
on some accounts, wisely, that they might not give scandal 
to the heathens, as if the Jews worshipped a visible, and 
consequently a material, God ; yet I can by no means think 
that they have done it faithfully, because they have plainly 
deserted the original Hebrew .and probably led the Chaldee, 
Syriac, and Arabic (whose authors were as much Jews as 
the LXX.) into the same error: nor, therefore, can I think 
it desirable, that several interpreters should conspire to- 
gether in a false translation. 

" Sir, though I am, you see, in several instances, for the 
reasons I have given, compelled to think otherwise than you 
do, yet I must own myself inexpressibly obliged to you for 
the trouble you have been at in endeavouring to set me 
right, as to many of these passages ; and I hope you see, if 
I am mistaken, I am not obstinate, because I have dropt, or 
at least doubt of, several of my own objections. I wish, 
with all my soul, either you or I could have cleared all the 
rest ; but fear you will yet entertain a more severe opinion 
of those interpreters, when I have time to compare, accord- 
ing to the very little knowledge I have, in the Greek, and 
especially in the Hebrew, those places in Jeremiah at which 
I have hinted, in order to send them to you : and am, in the 

"Reverend sir, 

" Your very obliged brother and servant, 

" S. W." 

" You would farther much oblige me, if you please, at 
your leisure, to send me those texts, I know not whether 
about fifteen or sixteen of them, which the Jews say were 
purposely mistranslated by the LXX. I think they are in 
Walton's Prolegomena, though I have it not by me." 


Several Curious cases relative to the Ecclesiastical Discipline 
exercised in the Parish of Epworth, on certain Culprits ; in 
Letters between Samuel Wesley, the Bishop of Lincoln, 
the Chancellor, and others. 

Letters from Mr. Wesley to Mr. Terry, giving an account 
of two couple of transgressors in his parish; and the evi- 
dence of their guilt, and his wish to have them presented at 
the Bishop's Court. 

' Epworth, Dec. 30, 1730. 
" Mr. Terry, 
f I presume, on account of our old friendship, to consult 
you, and beg your advice and direction, as to the greatest 
parochial difficulty I have met with since my residence 

I have two couple of sinners at present upon my hands : 
the first, very lean ; the latter, very fat : and I hope your 
courts will manage them both very well, when they are 
blended together. 

The lean ones are, Benjamin Becket, a widower, and 
Elizabeth Locker, a widow ; and though they had not much 
less than half a score of children between them before, yet 
he has ventured to increase their number by getting a chop- 
ping bastard on her, though she had weekly relief from the 
town ; and he was ready to fall upon it : to prevent which 
they made him sexton the last year ; and they continue both 
unmarried. What aggravates his crime is, that he had some 
years since done public penance here for anti-matrimonial 
fornication with his first wife. They are now, both of them, 
as I understand, desirous to do penance for this crime ; 
though the fellow would undergo even a third penance by 
marrying her. However, considering the whole, I am de- 
sirous their punishment should be as exemplary as their 
crime ; and that both of them may perform their penance 
at three churches of the Isle : my own at Epworth ; at 
Haxey, and at Belton. I'll see the court charges defrayed, 
which I. hope will be as moderate as possible, because most 
of it is like to come out of my own pocket, and because the 

* See vol. i., p. 301. 



second couple will make amends : their names are, Mr. 
Aaron Man, one of the most substantial yeomen in my 
parish, reckoned worth about £100 a-year ; a married man, 
who has five children that are grown up ; he has been more 
than suspected long since of adultery, and worse, though 
there could be then no prosecution, because it was not 
revealed till their death by some who were conscious of it ; 
but now he who has so long owed him a shame, seems to 
have paid it, or at least to be in a fair way of doing it. He 
has long haunted a widow here of a character scarce better 
than his own. Her name is Sarah Brumby, with whom he 
has been seen both day and night, till at last she proved 
with child, and told several persons, who are ready to 
witness it, that he was the father of it, and that she never 
had to do with any other since she was with child of this 
burden. The midwife also will stand to it that she told her, 
when she was in the pains of labour, that Aaron Man was 
the father. Notwithstanding which, he is so impudent and 
cunning that nobody doubts but he will do all he can to 
baffle justice, and even prevail upon Brumby to retract her 
confession, and lay it upon some other. There are some 
honest people in the town, of the best interest and character, 
who are not afraid of his huffings ; though I hear he 
threatens any one who says he is the father, to put him into 
the Spiritual Court, or bring an action against him. They 
are now concerting measures to get her sworn before a 
justice as to the father of the child, and if she eats her 
words, to confront her with the forementioned evidence, as 
soon as her month is up. I hear they have another plea, 
that she has a husband; and though he has been some 
years gone from her, yet that he has been with her this last 
year ; though nobody ever saw him ; and that she will 
plead he was the father. We think we have a fence against 
this too, and that we can prove he was dead and buried 
some years since; as she herself acknowledged to me, 
and to many others, above a year ago. We cannot 
foresee that he has now any other refuge but getting some 
corrupt person in your courts to appear for him. Your 
advice how to prevent this, or guard against it, and what 
other steps we should take in order to bring these criminals 
to public justice, would be very obliging and serviceable to 
me, and to the best of my parish. We have weighed every- 
thing as well as we could; our opinion is, on the whole, 
that being guarded with his impenetrable brass, he will obsti- 
nately deny the fact ; and when he is presented, that he will 
refuse public penance ; nor would his children, we think, 
suffer him to do it. Perhaps he might be willing to com- 


mute, though that we rather doubt, and are inclined to 
believe that he would stand an excommunication, which 
we know he does not value, though a capias carried to an 
outlawry, we believe, would make him bend. I would not 
willingly be baffled in this matter, because I look upon the 
whole exercise of discipline in my parish, in a great measure, 
to depend on the event. If you think it proper to make 
Mr. Chancellor Newell acquainted with this, and to lay it 
before him as my desire, with my most humble service, 
entreating his advice and direction in it, pray be pleased to 
do it ; but this I leave entirely to your own choice. 
" I am, my most friendly friend, 

" Your entire friend and servant, 

" S. W." 

A letter to the Chancellor, stating the performance of the 
Penance by Benj. Becket and Eliz. Locker ; and the sub- 
sequent marriage of the said Becket and Locker. 

" To the worshipful Mr. Chancellor Newell [at Lincoln], 

" Epworth, Feb. 15, 1730-31. 
" Sir, 

"In respect and obedience to yours, which I received 
together with the order of penance for Benjamin Becket 
and Elizabeth (then) Locker, I have got 'em both to per- 
form it at Epworth, and Haxey, on the days appointed. 

"But the woman, being weakly, was so disordered by stand- 
ing with her naked feet, that the women, and even a mid- 
wife, assured me that she would hazard her life if she went 
to perform it the third time at Belton in the same manner. 

" I could therefore do no more than send the man thither 
at the day appointed, who performed it the third time, ac- 
cording to order, as is certified by myself, Mr. Hool, Mr. 
Morrice, and our churchwardens, on the instrument you 
sent us ; which is ready to be returned at the visitation, or 
when you please. 

" If 'tis in your power to remit the woman's doing it the 
third time, I should think it an act of mercy, especially 
since this was her first fault, though his second ; and she 

appeared the modestest w (I doubt I ought to ask her 

pardon, now she has done what she could of her penance, 
and is an honest married wife, for I married them last 
Friday) that I have met with on this occasion. If you don't 
think it proper to remit it, which I again entreat that you 
would if you can ; I shall, upon your order in a letter, 
oblige her to perform it the third time. 

" As soon as this was over, I fell at my second couple, 


having 1 prepared the way by my addresses to a justice of 
the peace near us ; and disposing some of the best of my 
parishioners to join with me, on account of the charge that 
this illegitimate of Sarah Brumby and (as was famed) of 
Aaron Man, might bring upon the parish ; this my officers, 
the churchwardens and overseer, went and complained of to 
Justice Stovin, who was so kind as to come over this day on 
purpose to Epworth, and thinks he has got evidence upon 
oath, which will be ready to be produced in your court upon 
occasion, both to secure the parish, and to ground and prove 
a presentment. The woman had been taught her lesson, 
and though she had taken the oath before the justice, to 
answer " the truth, the whole truth," &c, and confessed 
under her hand it was a bastard child, born of her body ; 
yet when he aked her, ' Who was the father? 7 she answered 
positively, ' I will not tell/ 

" The second person brought before the justice, one Mary 
Jackson, who had been guilty of fornication herself, and has 
now a bastard of about six feet high, that lives with her ; 
though she had assured me that she had heard Sarah Brumby 
several times say, before she was delivered, that Aaron Man 
was the father of the child that she then went with ; yet, 
when the justice examined her upon oath about it, denied 
(as I expected she would, for she was always about her 
fellow-sinner, and had been tutored as well as she had been) 
that she had ever heard Sarah Brumby say any such thing, 
or that she had ever said any such thing to me ; on which 
I thought myself obliged to swear to the words she said, as 
above written. 

" We had a little better success in the succeeding evi- 
dence, Eliz. Piers, a near relation to Sarah Brumby, who 
was often with her in her illness, and swore, that the said 
Brumby had often told her that Aaron Man, and no other, 
was the father of the child that she went with. 

" The next was Elizabeth Dawson, the midwife who laid 
her of the child, and swore before the justice that she had 
several times told her, before she was delivered, that Aaron 
Man was the father of the child ; and that she added some 
other things in the time of her labour, or as soon as she was 
delivered, as will appear upon evidence in court, if there be 
occasion, which will confirm the same. 

"• This is the evidence we have got ; for the bad woman 
does not now pretend that she has a husband living, but has 
owned, under her hand, as before, and upon her oath, that 
it is a bastard child. 

" If we may ground a presentment on these evidences, in 
the taking which we have exactly followed the direction you 


were so kind to prescribe us, I believe I shall be able to 
induce my churchwardens to present both Aaron Man and 
Sarah Brumby, as soon as I've an answer to this, and 
you'll be so good as to teach us how we may proceed ; for 
as to the two evidences above, I think you may depend upon 

<c I am, honoured Sir, 
" Your very obliged humble servant, 

"Sam. Wesley." 

A second letter to Mr. Chancellor Newell, complaining of 
his negligence in not answering the preceding letter ; giving 
also an account of a person who, without orders or authority, 
married couples, absolved those who lay under ecclesiastical 
censure, &c. — Sufficiently curious. 

To Chancellor Newell. 

" Feb. 2, 1731-2. 

" I think it was more than a quarter of a year since I 
wrote you a very pressing letter, concerning the affairs of 
my parish ; to which I have not yet been honoured with any 
answer. I therein acquainted you that I had not yet heard 
of any articles against my last year's churchwardens, though 
you declared to them that you would article against them, 
for not performing their duty in presenting A. M. for the 
fame of adultery with Sarah Brumby, of this parish, which 
she herself had charged upon A. M., as was sworn by two 
persons which they very well knew ; and you have the 
whole evidence before you. The churchwardens' names 
are William Watkins and Richard Samson. The woman 
was conveyed away, and resided for some time at Cawick 
in Yorkshire ; where, for aught I know, she may still be, of 
which I informed both you and the apparitor, but can yet 
hear of no prosecution of her. 

" At the same time, I wrote to you with as pressing in- 
stances as I could, concerning one Eliza Hurst, likewise of 
Epworth, who was delivered of an illegitimate, with some 
very foul circumstances, and would not declare the father. 
She was presented by my churchwarden some years since ; 
but no prosecution followed, though I had often wrote 
about it. At length, the woman came to me, and earnestly 
desired she might perform penance for her offence, which 
she was ready to do whenever the court should order it. 
As I wrote to you about it, all I could hear concerning her 
was (what Mr. Porter told me at the last visitation, when I 
paid him 15s. out of my own pocket for B. Becket's pe- 
nances), that this Hurst was put into the process. But I 


could never hear that the apparitor had summoned him, nor 
did he give me any account of it, as indeed he seldom does 
of any thing relating to offences of this nature in my parish. 
The woman has, since the time she was with me, cohabited 
with Thomas Thew, and is suspected to be with child by 
him. She would lately have sold her bed to have bought a 
license to be married to him, which she knew I would not 
do, till she had done penance for her former fault. How- 
ever, they made what shift they could, and there being a 
strolling villain in the parish who had married others before, 
called John England, he coupled them together in a hemp- 
kiln, on Saturday, the 22nd of January ; she having one 
Haworth for her father, and one Benson for their clerk ; 
and having, as I hear, confessed their fornication, he that 
had joined them absolved them for it, and the others that 
were present said, Amen ! 

" You see, sir, by this, how much trouble you are like to 
be eased of in our isle, there being a person frequently here, 
though he is a legal inhabitant of Thorn, in Yorkshire, who 
assumes an episcopal power, at least as much as the courts 
have, in granting licenses, marrying, absolving, &c, where 
they are all safe, if poverty can gain them impunity ; for I 
do not believe that all five of them are worth fifty shillings, 
if their stock were put together ; for which reason I know 
not whether the court will be at the trouble of prosecuting 
them ; or whether 1 shall hear anything from you in 
answer to this, any more than to my last, though I am sure 
this will be delivered into your hands by my own daughter. 
But whatever the event may be, I thought it my duty 
to acquaint you with these matters, and rest as well as 
I can, 

" Your much aggrieved friend and servant, 

"S. W." 

To the Bishop of Lincoln, stating the same particular to 
his Lordship as he had sent to the Chancellor. 

" Epworth, Feb. 3, 1731. 
" My Lord, 
" I received the high honour and favour of your lord- 
ship's, dated Bugden, Christmas Eve. I ever thought it my 
duty, since I have been the minister of any parish, to pre- 
sent those persons who were obnoxious in it, if the church- 
wardens neglected it, unless where the criminal was so 
sturdy, and so wealthy, as that I was morally certain I could 
not do it without my own great inconvenience or ruin ; in 
which cases, God does not require it of me. The only 
question here seems to be, whether the oath of two persons 


(that the woman had confessed to theni several times that 
A. M. was the father of the child, which they swore before a 
justice of peace) be not sufficient to prove the fame and 
fact to the satisfaction of the court, that the criminal will 
be condemned in costs of suit, the chancellor having all 
the depositions in his hand : and I believe the justice who 
took them would, viva voce, confirm them, if the woman 
should shrink from thfeir evidence. I likewise beg your 
direction what I must do with the two churchwardens,' if 
they offered themselves to receive the sacrament at Christ- 
mas ; and whether I ought not to repel them from it ; being 
satisfied in my own mind, that they were notoriously per- 
jured, and had thereby given great scandal to the congre- 
gation. One of them, Richard Samson by name, offered 
himself at the communion ; to whom I sent my clerk to 
desire him privately to withdraw, because I had written to 
your lordship about it, for your directions therein, which I 
had not yet received; and therefore now humbly beg them. 
What work there has since been in our parish, your lord- 
ship will see in my letter to the chancellor ; a copy whereof 
here follows. Thus asking 1 pardon for this double trouble, 
and begging your lordship s blessing, and a line of answer, 
<f I remain, your lordship's ever-devoted, 
" and most humble servant, 

"S. W." 

The Bishop of Lincoln's answer to the preceding, com- 
mending Mr. Wesley's diligence, and giving him further 

Copy of the Bishop of Lincoln's letter to S. W. about 
R. Samson.] 

" Sir, 
% " It is very well that you have within fourteen days sig- 
nified to me your repelling from your communion your 
negligent and obstinate churchwarden. 

"My advice upon his case is, that you do immediately 
signify his offence to the chancellor of your diocese, and say 
that you do so by my direction, that he may have process 
against him according to law ; and when you have thus by 
my direction, put him into the hands of the ordinary 'you 
have done your part, and may let your churchwarden know 
that he is now where the law has placed him, and that you 
are no longer a judge of his offence, but shall treat him as 
other parishioners. Without this, you will not be armed 
against action and costs of common law; to which I would 
not have you liable. 

vol. ii. 




"'Your tenderness for the Protestant exiles, is truly Chris- 
tian, and reasonable, as their sufferings are great, and their 
wants pressing. What you collect may be returned, as Dr. 
Wade's collection was, to Sir John Philips, in Bartlett's 

"Bugden, Aug. 19, 1732." 

These letters give us a sketch of ecclesiastical discipline 
in the Church of England, in the beginning of the eight- 
eenth century, which now in practice scarcely exists, and 
is not soon likely to regain its footing. 

I know a parish in which hundreds of similar delinquents 
now live, not one of whom is ever presented by the church- 
wardens, notwithstanding their most solemn oaths ; nor do 
the ministers seem to expect them to make the present- 
ments to which their oaths bind them ! And this oath 
binds them to present " all who offered their brethren by 
adultery, whoredom, incest, drunkenness, swearing, ri- 
baldry, usury, or any other uncleanness or wickedness of 
life." — Gibson's Codex., p. 964, and Canon, cix. An. 1603. 
Shall it be said in extenuation of their guilt, in not acting 
according to their oath, that by these things their brethren 
are not offended ? 

But if the churchwardens will refuse to do their duty, 
then it is the duty of every parson and vicar, and, in their 
absence, of every curate (being the persons who should 
have the chief care for the suppression of impiety and sin 
in their parishes), to present to their ordinaries, at such time 
and when they think it meet, all such crimes as they have 
in charge, or otherwise, as by them shall be thought to 
require due reformation." — Canon cxiii. An. 1603. 

I quote these authorities to show that Mr. Wesley, in what 
he did, acted according to the canons of the church ; and 
that as a parish minister he could not have discharged his 
conscience, nor have acted according to his own solemn 
engagements, had he known of those scandalous offenders, 
and winked at the negligence of his churchwardens. But 
is not every minister of the church equally bound as he 
was? Most certainly. But are there any such present- 
ments now ? Scarcely one. Are no such offenders now to 
be found? Further this deponent saith not. 

What was the issue of the prosecution against those he 
calls the fat sinners, his papers do not indicate. The chan- 
cellor and churchwardens seem equally indolent in the 



Some husbands on a winter's day 
Were met to laugh their spleen away. 
As wine flows in, and spirits rise, 
They praise their consorts to the skies. 
Obedient wives were seldom known, 
Yet all could answer for their own : 
Acknowledged each as sovereign lord, 
Abroad, at home, in deed, in word ; 
In short, as absolute their reign, as 
Grand seignior's over his sultanas. 
For pride or shame to be out-done, 
All joined in the discourse but one ; 
Who, vexed so many lies to hear, 
Thus stops their arrogant career : 
'Tis mighty strange, sirs, what you say ! 
What ! all so absolutely sway, 
In England, where Italians wise 
Have placed the woman's paradise ; 
In London, where the sex's flower 
Have of that Eden fixed the bower 1 
Fie, men of sense, to be so vain ! 
You're not in Turkey or in Spain ; 
True Britons all, I'll lay my life 
None here is master of his wife. 

These words the general fury rouse, 
And all the common cause espouse _; 
Till one, with voice superior, said, 
(Whose lungs were sounder than his head) 
I'll send my footman instant home, 
To bid his mistress hither come : 
And if she flies not at my call, 
To own my power before you all, 
I'll grant I'm hen-pecked if you please, 
As S or as Socrates. 

Hold there, replies the objector sly, 
Prove first that matrons never lie ; > 
Else words are wind : to tell you true, 
I neither credit them nor you : 

* See p. 236. 

u 2 


No, we'll be judged a surer way, 
By what they do, not what they say : 
I'll hold you severally, that boast, 
A Supper at the loser's cost, 
That if you'll but vouchsafe to try 
A trick I'll tell you by and by, 
Send strait for every wife* quite round, 
One mother's daughter is not found, 
But what before her husband's face 
Point blank his order disobeys. 

To this they one and all consent : 
The wager laid, the summons went. 
Meanwhile he this instruction gives, 
Pray only gravely tell your wives, 
Your will and pleasure is, t' invite 
These friends to a Boiled Pig to-night ; 
The commoner the trick has been, 
The better chance you have to win : 
The treat is mine, if they refuse ; 
But if they boil it, then I lose. 

The first to whom the message came 
Was a well-born and haughty dame : 
A saucy independent she, 
With jointure and with pin-money, 
Secured by marriage deeds from wants, 
Without a separate maintenance. 
Her loftiness disdained to hear 
Half-through her husband's messenger ; 
But cut him short with — How dare he 
'Mong pot companions send for me 1 
He knows his way, if sober, home ; 
And if he wants me, bid him come. 
This answer, hastily returned, 
Pleased all but him whom it concerned. 
For each man thought his wife, on trial, 
Would brighter shine by this denial. 

The second was a lady gay, 
Who lo^ed to visit, dress, and play 5 
To sparkle in the box, or ring. 
And dance on birth-nights for the king ; 
Whose head was busy wont to be 
With something else than cookery. 
She, hearing of her husband's name, 
Though much a gentlewoman, came : 
When, half-informed of his request, 
A dish as he desired it drest, 
Quoth madam, with a serious face, 
Without inquiring what it was, 


You can't, sure, for an answer look : 
Sir, do you take me for your cook 1 
But I must haste a friend to see, 
Who stays my coming for her tea ; 
So said, that minute out she flew. 
What could the slighted husband do 1 
His wager lost must needs appear, 
For none obey that will not hear. 

The next for housewifery renowned, 
A woman notable was owned, 
Who hated idleness and airs, 
And minded family affairs. 
Expert at ev'ry thing was she, 
At needle-work, or surgery ; 
Famed for her liquors far and near, 
From richest cordial to small-beer. 
To serve a feast she understood, 
In English or in foreign mode ; 
Whate'er the wanton taste could choose 
In sauces, kickshaws, and ragouts ; 
She spared for neither cost nor pain, 
Her welcome guests to entertain. 
Her husband fair accosts her thus : 
To-night these friends will sup with us. 
She answered with a smile, My dear, 
Your friends are always welcome there. 
But we desire a pig, and pray 
You'd boil it. — Boil it, do you say 1 
I hope you'll give me leave to know 
My business better, sir, than so. 
Why ne'er in any book was yet 
Found such a whimsical receipt. 
My dressing none need be afeard of, 
But such a dish was never heard of. 
I'll roast it nice, — but shall not boil it ; 
Let those that know no better spoil it. 
Her husband cried, For all my boast, 
I own the wager fairly lost ; 
And other wives besides my love, 
Or I'm mistaken much, may prove 
More chargeable than this to me, 
To show their pride in housewifery. 

Now the poor wretch who next him sat, 
Felt his own heart go pit-a-pat ; 
For well he knew his spouse's way ; 
Her spirit brooked not to obey ; 
She never yet was in the wrong ; 
He told her, with a trembling tongue, 

u 3 



Where and on what his friends would feast, 
And how the dainty should be drest. 
To night 1 quoth, in a passion, she ; 
No, sirs, to-night it cannot be. 
And was it a boiled pig you said 1 
You and your friends, sure, are not mad ! 
The kitchen is the proper sphere, 
Where none but females should appear ; 
And cooks their orders, by your leave, 
Always from mistresses receive. 
Boil it ! was ever such an ass ! 
Pray, what would you desire for sauce ? 
If any servant in my pay 
Dare dress a pig that silly way, 
In spite of any whim of your's 
I'll turn them quickly out of doors ; 
For no such thing, — nay, never frown, — 
Where I am mistress, shall be done. 
Each woman wise her husband rules, — 
Passive obedience is for fools. 

This case was quickly judged. — Behold 
A fair one of a softer mould ; 
Good humour sparkled in her eye, 
And unaffected pleasantry. 
So mild and sweet she entered in, 
Her spouse thought certainly to win. 
Pity such golden hopes should fail ! 
Soon as she heard th' appointed tale — 
My dear, I know not, I protest, 
Whether in earnest or in jest 
So strange a supper you demand : 
Howe'er, I'll not disputing stand, 
But do't as freely as you bid it, 
Prove but that ever woman did it. 
This cause, by general consent, 
Was lost for want of precedent. 
Thus each denied a several way ; 
But all agreed to disobey. 

The only dame did yet remain, 
Who downright honest was and plain : 
If now and then her voice she tries, 
'Tis not for rule, but exercise. 
Unused her lord's commands to slight, 
Yet sometimes pleading for the right, 
She made her little wisdom go 
Further than wiser women do. 
Her husband tells her, looking grave, 
A roasting-pig I boiled would have ; 


And, to prevent all pro and con, 

I must insist to have it done. 

Says she, My dearest, shall your wife 

Get a nick-name to last for life 1 

If you resolve to spoil it do ; 

But I desire you'll eat it too : 

For though 'tis boiled to hinder squabble, 

I shall not, will not, sit at table. 

She spoke, and her good man alone 
Found he had neither lost nor won, 
So fairly parted stakes. The rest 
Fell on the wag that caused the jest — 
Would your wife boil it 1 let us see. 
Hold there — you did not lay with me. 
You find, in spite of all you boasted, 
Your pigs are fated to be roasted. 
The wager's lost, no more contend, 
But take this counsel from a friend : 
Boast not your empire, if you prize it, 
For happiest he that never tries it. 
Wives unprovoked think not of sway, 
Without commanding, they obey. 
But if your dear ones take the field, 
Resolve at once to win or yield ; 
For heaven no medium ever gave 
Betwixt a sovereign and a slave. 




'Tis justly thought, to praise is ever hard, 
When real virtue fires the glowing bard ; 
But harder far, whene'er the poet's mind 
Lab'ring creates the worth he cannot find. 
'Twill task a Cowley's genius, to commend 
False Brutus cringing while he stabs his friend ; 
To make the trifler Hobbes unworthy shine, 
Will ask the utmost of a wit like thine. 

The reader's malice makes the satire please ; 
Yet praises void of truth are flatteries, 
Which steal from genuine worth the honours due ; 
Romantic heroes thus obscure the true. 

The wise and good morality will guide, 

And superstition all the world beside. 
As wise and great no longer then must shine 
Good Socrates, or Plato the divine ; 
On ancient Greece is pass'd a gen'ral doom, 
And Tully pleading for the gods of Rome. 
All statues to their fame are overthrown, 
And Hobbes or Epicurus stands alone ! 

Shall Christian virtues, too, the slander Share, 
And wait, as captives, his triumphal car ? 
As by superior excellence compell'd, 
Shall Anna bow 1 shall Charles the martyr yield 1 
Hyde, wise in calms, and faithful in the storm, 
Great to record, but greater to perform 1 
Wide-conquering Raleigh, and far-searching Boyle, 
And Newton, glory of our age and isle 1 
Are these the vulgar superstitious crowd, 
That own the maxims of th' incarnate God ? 
Rather than heav'n, \e. earth be disesteem'd, 
And Hobbes exploded, than our God blasphem'd. 
Hobbes ! in whose ev'ry page display'd we see 
His privilege of man, absurdity ! 

*Seep 236. 


'Tis hard to point where most his merits shine, 
In human learning, or in laws divine. 
All matter thinks as such, he gravely says, 
The smallest grain of sand, and spire of grass ; 
Only t' express their thoughts they wanted power, 
'Till he arose, their sweet-tongued orator. 
Rome's wildest legends are excell'd at once, 
With thinking blocks and philosophic stones. 

Say, whence his far-famed politics began, 
Whence his admir'd and lov'd Leviathan : 
Wearied with exile, basely he complied, 
And, coward, started from the suff'ring side ; 
With abject lies usurping force ador'd, 
And measur'd justice by the longest sword. 
Blest moralist ! who taught e'en good and ill 
To veer obsequious to the tyrant's will : 
Prone to renounce his sense at Cromwell's nod, 
And traitor to his prince, as to his God. 

Hear, all ye wits, his gospel ! ( Tales receiv'd, 
In private feign d and publicly believ'd, 
These are Religion. He alike esteems 
The prophets' visions and the Rabbis' dreams ; 
Nor matters who the rising sect begun, 
Or Mary's offspring, or Abdalla's son. 
No smallest diff'rence can his wisdom find : 
For colours are all equal to the blind. 

Yet tales, when once establish'd by the state, 
He holds for sacred, and as fix'd as fate : 
Nor shall the Almighty Lord his pleasure show, 
Without dependance on the gods below. 
The civil creed no subject must deny. 
Or disbelieve it, though 'tis own'd a lie. 
Hither from farthest east, ye Bramins, come 
Hither, ye western locusts — monks of Rome 
Behold this frontless, all-imposing man, 
And match him with your priestcraft, if you can. 

Prodigious sage ! who taught mankind to know 
The dangerous cheats of Robin Goodfellow 
Of fairies tripping light a moonshine round, 
Where rising verdure marks the circled ground ! 
Charm'd down by him, each airy spirit flies, 
And grosser witches vanish from our eyes : 
Crones, untransform'd, their own bad figures keep, 
And broomstaffs peaceful in their corners sleep ; 
Yet vulgar tales this mighty champion scare, 
This foe to shades, this conqueror of the air; 
Ghosts immaterial he as dreams decries, 
Yet dreads their power, whose being he denies. 


The noonday boaster, straight a coward grown, 
Shudders and trembles in the dark alone : 
Spectres and phantoms glare before his sight, 
Which, when the candle enters, cease to fright. 
Twas thus he lived, our nation's boasted pride ! 
And (oh ! that truth could hide it ! ) thus he died. 
Dreams, whimsies, fancies, nothings, then he feared ; 
And leap'd into the dark, and disappeared. 

Not thus his matchless wisdom Bacon showed, — 
He found in all things, and he owned, a God : 
As further learned, still readier to adore ; 
And still the more he knew, believed the more : 
Glories to virtue due secure to find, 
Unbounded and immortal as the mind. 
Could Hobbes, alas ! an equal prospect see 
In the sad gloom of dark futurity, 
Who dreamt that man, once dust, shall never rise ; 
That when the carcase falls, the spirit dies ; 
If quite extinct, insensible of fame, 
Yet barred the poor reversion of a name 1 
While yet alive, by vanity betrayed, 
He saw his fleeting groundless honours fade : 
Nor sacred verse their lustre can prolong : 
No, not a Cowley's nor a Mulgrave's song. 



Hail, Christian prelates ! for your master's name 
Exposed by fool-born jest to grinning shame ! 
Hail, fathers ! to be envied, not deplored, 
Who share the treatment destined to your Lord, 
What time his mortal race on earth began, 
When first the Son of God was Son of Man ! 

Behold from night the great accuser rise, 
Retouching old, and coining modern, lies : 
No slander unessayed, no path untrod, 
To blast the glories of incarnate God ! 
" An open enemy to Moses' laws ; 
" A secret patron of Samaria's cause; 
" Who dared at Levi's race his curses send, 
" The sot's companion and the sinner's friend ; 
"Who purposed Sion's temple to o'erthrow, 
" Traitor to Cresar, and to God a foe ; 
" Who wonders wrought by force of magic spell, 
" Possessed with demons, and in league with hell." 


Remains there aught, ye powers of darkness, yet ? 

Yes ; make your ancient blasphemies complete — 

" The sacred leaves no prophecies contain, 

" No miracles, to prove Messiah's reign." 

To this each sacred leaf aloud replies, 

Nor need we trust our reason, but our eyes. 

Tis urged, his mightiest wonders never showed 

Our Saviour nature's Lord, and real God, 

Whose word commanded earth, and sea, and air, 

Bid gloomy demons to their hell repair, 

Spoke all diseases into health and bloom, 

And called the mouldering carcase from the tomb, 

O 'er tyrant death exerted Godlike sway, 

And oped the portals of eternal day. 

Here nobler mysteries a sage descries, — 
"The letter false or trivial in his eyes." 
Suppose in every act were understood 
Some future, mystic, and sublimer good ; 
Yet, who the letter into air refines, 
Destroys at once the substance and the signs ; 
Will find the truth is with the figure flown, 
Because by nothing, nothing is foreshown ; . 
Else lunatics might deep divines commence, 
And downright nonsense be the type of sense. 
What wilder dream did ever madman seize 
Than — " Symbols all are mere nonentities." 
This Sion's hill fast by the roots will tear, 
And scatter Sinai's mountain into air : 
No David ever reigned on Judah's throne, 
For David shadowed his diviner Son. 
So fair, so glorious light's material ray, 
That heaven is likened to a cloudless day : 
Embodied souls require some outward sign 
To represent and image things divine. 
All objects must we therefore subtilize, 
And raze the face of nature from our eyes 1 
Dispute is over, the creation gone, 
In noon-day splendour we behold no sun. 
Thus, fast as power almighty can create, 
May frenzy with a nod annihilate. 
No marks of foul imposture then were known, 
The cures were public, to a nation shown : 
And who, the facts exposed to every eye, 
If false could credit, or if true deny ; 
While thousands lived, by miracle restored, 
Healed by a touch, a shadow, or a word 1 
Denial then had shocking proved and vain. 
But now the serpent tries another train ; 
To turns, and doubts, and circumstances flies, 
And groundless, endless may-be's multiplies. 


Now every idle question dark appeal's, 

Obscure by shade of seventeen hundred yearg, 

Which then each ignorant and child must know, 

And every friend resolve, and every foe. 

No trace of possible deceit was there : 

Would those who spilt his blood his honour spare 1 

When prejudice and interest urged his fate, 

And superstition edged their keenest hate ; 

When every footstep was beset with spies, 

And restless envy watched with all her eyes ; 

When Jewish priests with Herod's courtiers joined, 

And power and craft, and earth and hell combined. 

Speak, Caiaphas ! thy prophecy be shown, — 

He died for Israel's sake, and not his own. 

Pilate, arise ! His righteous cause maintain, 

And clear the injured Innocent again ! 

Truth fixt, eternal stands, and can defy 

Time's rolling course to turn it to a lie. 

Must every age the once-heard cause recall, 

Replacing Jesus in the judgment-hall ; 

Cite living witnesses anew to plead, 

And raise from dust the long-sepulchred dead ; 

That fools undue conviction may receive, 

And those who reason slight may sense believe, — 

Those, who the test of former ages scorn 

(For men were ideots all till they were born), 

Whose strength of argument in this we view, 

'Tis so long since, perhaps it is not true ? 

Ye worthies, in the book of life enrolled, 
Who nobly filled the bishops' thrones of old ! 
Ye priests, on second thrones, who, true to God, 
In tortures and in death your priestcraft showed ; 
Ye flocks, disdaining from the fold to stray, 
Still following where your pastors led the way, 
Whose works thro' length of years transmitted come, 
Escaped from Gothic waste, and papal Rome, 
Justly renowned ! behold, how malice tries 
To blast your fame, and vex your paradise ! 
Let heretics each human slip declare, 
And ridicule the test they cannot bear : 
To these what modish ignorants succeed, 
And fops your writings blame who cannot read. 
These open enmities to glory tend ; 
The wound strikes deeper from a seeming friend. 
Let deist refugees your fame oppose, 
And Dutch professors list themselves your foes : 
But ah ! let none asperse with vile applause, 
And quote with praises in the devil's cause ; 
In gleaning scraps bad diligence employ, 
The tenor of your doctrines to destroy ; 


Make you your much-loved Lord and God deride, 

For whom your saints have lived, and martyrs died. 

Yet so pursued by love-dissembling hate, 

You fill the measure of your master's fate. 

Glory to Jesu ! the blasphemer cries ; 

But glaring malice mocks the thin disguise. 

Iscariot thus false adoration paid, 

Hail'd when he seized, saluted and betrayed. 

May Jesu's blood discharge even this offence, 

When washed with tears of timely penitence ! 

Ere yet experience sad assent create, 

Convince in earnest, but convince too late ; 

Ere yet, descended from dissolving skies, 

To plead his cause himself, shall God arise. 

Then scorn must cease, and laughter must be o'er, 

And witty fools reluctantly adore. 

So, as authentic old records declare 
(If past with future judgment we compare), 
Possest with frantic and demoniac spleen, 
Apostate Julian scoffed the Nazarene ; 
His keenest wit th' imperial jester tries ; 
Sure to his breast the vengeful arrow flies ; 
He, while his wound with vital crimson streams, 
Proud in despair, confesses and blasphemes ; 
Impious, but unbelieving now no more, 
He owns the Galilean Conqueror ! 


fOL. II. X